Prospective Students

GUC24S241C | AI and Social Justice

About the lecturer

Yuko Itatsu is a professor at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies. She received her Ph.D. in 2009 at the University of Southern California as a Fulbright Scholar.
Prof. Yuko ITATSU

Introduction video

AI and Social Justice


1 Subject AI and Social Justice
2 Field Artificial intelligence, ethics
3 Key words Artificial intelligence, ethics, social justice, race, ethnicity, gender, minorities, algorithmic bias, healthcare, human rights, geopolitics
4 Global Unit 1
5 Lecturer Yuko ITATSU
6 Period July 1 - 12, 2024 
7 Time 15:00-16:30 (Japan Standard Time)
8 Lecture style In-person (on Hongo Campus)
9 Evaluation Criteria Excellent (S) 90–100%; Very good (A) 80–89%; Good (B) 70–79%; Pass (C) 60–69%; Fail (D) 0–59%
10 Evaluation methods Attendance and participation 40%. Presentations 30%. Final paper 30%
11 Prerequisites No prior knowledge about artificial intelligence is needed. However, students must be willing to engage in conversations about how technology can be used for creating an inclusive society.
12 Contents Purpose
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to do the following:
- have an understanding of the major issues surrounding the implementation of AI technology in our societies
- able to give examples of the social injustices that may be perpetuated by the use of AI
- will be able to have a comprehension of the different ways in which AI is perceived in different societies
- will have a theoretical understanding of how current AI implementation may be related to various global issues
- will be equipped with practical tools for thinking of ways to use AI for social justice.
Artificial intelligence(AI) is already embedded in our daily lives. It is crucial that we know where and how it is being used, as well as the implications it has on our lives. While AI can have a positive impact on improving productivity, efficiency, expediency and optimization, this course is also concerned about the problematic ways in which AI use may perpetuate or exacerbate biases against marginalized people in society. These marginalized people in society can include, those who are made vulnerable because of their gender and sexuality, race or ethnicity, disability, age or other characteristics. As an international group of people, we will also consider the different ways in which AI is perceived in different cultural contexts.
The course consists primarily of lectures and discussions based on case studies. We will also have design thinking workshops to challenge our intellectual agility and to seek new ways to understand AI and equity. This course will be delivered online and will be interactive. The course expects participants to share ways in which AI is used in their local context and exchange ideas on what is can be considered social justice.
This course is about nurturing students to think about how to live and work with artificial intelligence in their future. As AI can be used in myriad ways, students looking to enter any industry should be able to find relevance.
  1. Introduction
  2. AI and hiring/admissions
  3. AI and law enforcement
  4. Workshop (1): Equitable AI
  5. Decolonizing AI
  6. AI and healthcare
  7. AI and social welfare
  8. Workshop (2): Equitable AI
  9. Presentations and Discussions
  10. Future of AI and social justice

Students will be asked to prepare an approx. 5-10 minute presentation (or a 20 minute presentation if with a partner) at both of the workshops as well as a final presentation on Day 9. The actual format of the presentations will be decided with the participants.
There will also be a 5-10 page paper due at the end of the course. Details will be announced in class.
13 Required readings Will be provided during the course.
14 Reference readings Will be provided during the course.
15 Notes on Taking the Course This course is not a computer science course. This course discusses the social implications of artificial intelligence using theoretical frameworks and studies from the humanities and social sciences. Students of all disciplines are welcome.
UTokyo Global Unit Courses (GUC)
International Education Promotion Group, Education and Student Support Department
The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8652 JAPAN

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