Kavli IPMU receives funding for AI Ethical, Legal and Social Issues project

18 July 2023
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)


横山広美 教授
Kavli IPMU Deputy Director and Professor Hiromi Yokoyama. (Credit: Hiromi Yokoyama)

The Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) receives support from The Kavli Foundation for a research project on Science and Society led by Professor Hiromi Yokoyama. The project will embark on data-driven studies that will bring Asian perspectives into the global discussions surrounding a subset of ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) associated with Artificial Intelligence and Climate Engineering.

Since 2020, Yokoyama's team has been carrying out AI ELSI research. Her group has already developed an AI ELSI score “Octagon measurement” which measure the level of the ELSI and “AI ELSI segment” which group people with similar opinions about ELSI through data-driven analysis based on data from several countries across Asia, the US and Europe.  

"This project will include studying climate engineering and AI. These may look completely different from each other at first glance, but they are issues that humans and society will have to face. I hope we can push forward with data-driven ELSI research and introduce the Asian perspective,” said Yokoyama. 

The funds provided by The Kavli Foundation will allow Yokoyama's team to start data-driven analysis within the next two years. This will involve organizing two surveys, one for AI wearable devices and the other for climate engineering, and to carry out several group focus interviews.  

"At the Center for Data-Driven Discovery, we are working hard to advance our understanding of the universe through the innovative use of AI and data science techniques. We recognize that with the great power of AI comes great responsibility. As such, Professor Yokoyama's work will provide important guidance for our interdisciplinary research on AI and physics," said Center for Data-Driven Discovery Director Jia Liu, whose center will help to run the data-driven analysis.

"I am delighted and grateful that The Kavli Foundation recognized the importance of Professor Yokoyama's work in this area and decided to support her new project. The Kavli Foundation already supports two Kavli Centers for Ethics, Science, and the Public on the Western Hemisphere, at UC Berkeley and University of Cambridge. Professor Yokoyama's group will help incorporate diverse views into ELSI research and complement the work of the Centers and other efforts supported by the foundation. I look forward to progress in her project in the coming years,” said Kavli IPMU Director Hirosi Ooguri.

Yokoyama’s team is made up of the following 10 members who have various research backgrounds including Science and Technology in Society, ethics, Buddhist studies, and physics. They will begin the new chapter in their research from July 2023.


-    Tilman Hartwig, Chief Data Scientist, German Environment Agency (UBA)
-    Yuko Ikkatai, Associate Professor, Institute of Human and Social Sciences, Faculty of Regional Development Studies, Kanazawa University
-    Nobutsugu Kanzaki, Professor, Nanzan University
-    Shotaro Kinoshita, Project Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Keio University
-    Momoyo Matsuyama, Associate Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
-    Hirosi Ooguri, Director, Kavli IPMU, The University of Tokyo and Fred Kavli Professor, California Institute of Technology
-    Shizuka Sasaki, Professor, Buddhism Department, Hanazono University 
-    Masahiro Sugiyama, Associate Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo
-    Naohiro Takanashi, Project Associate Professor, Executive Management Program, The University of Tokyo 
-    Hiromi Yokoyama, Professor, Kavli IPMU, The University of Tokyo

The Kavli Foundation, which has endowed Kavli IPMU since 2012 including for a total of US$17.5 million in 2020, will provide US$100,000 in funds to further Yokoyama's research to develop meta-level indicators.


Research contact
Hiromi Yokoyama
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)
Email: hiromi.yokoyama _at_ ipmu.jp
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Media contact
Motoko Kakubayashi
Press officer
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)
E-mail: press_at_ipmu.jp
TEL: 080-4052-2767
* Please change _at_ to @

Related links
Researchers develop a new way to see how people feel about Artificial Intelligence (September 14, 2022)
Measuring Trust in AI (January 11, 2022)