The Asiatic Society 
of Japan

 150th Anniversary Year

Next lecture (online): JST 2022.6.20 18:00
Prof. Shoko Suzuki,
Kyoto University, Senior Visiting Scientist,
RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, Japan

LECTURES AND EVENTS

JST 2022.6.20 18:00 (online)

Lecture by Prof. Shoko Suzuki,
Kyoto University, Senior Visiting Scientist,
RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, Japan
‘The Ethics of AI – from the perspective of “Dynamic Harmony” ’

Synopsis. Artificial intelligence and other forms of information technology have advanced rapidly in recent years. This has led to both excessive expectations for this technology and at the same time given rise to questions about how to relate to more humanlike artifacts, and fears about the possibility that technology that might acquire not only emotions and intuitions but also consciousness, leading to increasing anxiety and an unfounded sense of crisis that machines may come to dominate or destroy human society. There is an urgent need to develop an ethical foundation for continued coevolution with technology through coexistence and symbiosis with things and machines, while retaining an appropriate awe of technology. Amidst the rapid advancement of information technology, there is a need to reexamine the limits and possibilities of human intelligence.

Wisdom to cooperate and co-exist with AI, rather than relying on AI or being extremely afraid of it. Human beings have created and inherited a technological civilization through the development and use of technology. We must view the recent rapid development of AI-related technologies as part of this long history of Digital Transformation. When building a smart city, it is also important to harmoniously combine AI and other digital technologies with the traditional culture that has been cultivated and people's spiritual roots. The spirit of harmony fostered in Japan's long tradition is the perfection of a hybrid of Shintoism, Confucianism and Mahayana Buddhism. Although it shares some similarities with the concept of harmony of Western origin, the Japanese spirit of harmony can also be described as "dynamic harmony" to express its character. The "dynamic harmony" encourages reflection on extreme anthropocentrism and fosters a sympathetic worldview of humanity living in this world with living and non-living things. It will open the way to realize well-co-being with other beings.

Brief Biography. Prof. Shoko Suzuki completed her postgraduate studies in literature for an MA at Sophia University. She then received a Young Researcher Scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technology of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, to study at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cologne, Germany. She also holds a PhD in Literature (Sophia University).

Prof. Suzuki has been an Associate Professor at Kyoto University since 1997, and a Professor at Kyoto University since 2003; Member of the Science Council of Japan, 2005-2014; Affiliate Member of the Science Council of Japan, 2015-2020; Visiting Professor at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, 2009-2010, Excellence Graduate School Program "Language of Emotion". 2010-2018, Member of the Kyoto City Board of Education; since 2016, Team Leader, Artificial Intelligence Ethics and Society Team, RIKEN Centre for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP); 2016, Member of the Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence and Society, Cabinet Office; 2016, Secretary, AI Network Society Promotion Council, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. External judge for the Soroptimist Nippon Foundation Award project since 2018. In 2018 she received a Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award for Distinguished Contributions to Local Administration; and in 2019 Prof. Suzuki received the Kyoto City Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education.

Prof. Suzuki’s main publications include Pandemien im Anthropozän, Paragrana Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie, Vol. 30, De Gruyter Verlag; Berlin 2022; Auf dem Weg des Lebens –West- östliche Meditation, Logos Verlag; Berlin 2013; Takt in Modern Education“, Waxmann; Münster/ New York, 2010.
 

Online Lecture Programme for 2022  

JST 2022.9.26
Dr. Anne Nishimura-Morse,
Senior Curator of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 
 ‘Constructing a History of Japanese Art: The Formation and Evolution of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Collection’ 

JST 2022.10.17
2022 Young Scholars’ Programme
Applications welcome. Please see details below. 

JST 2022.11.7
Mr. Ernest Higa,
Domino’s Pizza
 “Understanding the cultural differences between Japan and the US for business opportunities” 

The Asiatic Society of Japan
2022 Young Scholars’ Program (YSP)
-Call for Papers-

The Asiatic Society of Japan (ASJ) is Japan's oldest learned society, with its inaugural meeting in Yokohama in 1872. Inspired by the Royal Asiatic Societies of their day, ASJ's founders coordinated activities "to collect and publish information on subjects relating to Japan and other Asiatic Countries." Yet they intentionally differentiated ASJ from these affiliated societies at the outset by having established a "Society for scholarly gentlemen" rather than a society of scholars. The founders and earliest members were pillars of Japan's modernization and industrialization at the dawn of the Meiji Period. Physicians, engineers, barristers, missionaries, military officers, professors, and diplomats numbered among them, including Dr. James Hepburn, Sir Ernest Satow, Basil Hall Chamberlain, and William Aston. Today, the Society serves members of a general audience that have shared interests in Japan and the country’s myriad of connections with the world.

The Young Scholars’ Program was initiated in 2006 with the support of the Society’s Honorary Patron, HIH Princess Takamado, to give researchers at doctoral level the opportunity to present their research on Japan and/or Asia and answer questions on it in English. This year it will take place online on Monday, October 17, as part of the Society’s 150th anniversary celebration.

Requirements
The closing date for nominations this year is midnight on Monday, 15 August. All nominated candidates (to be first selected by a university professor or other nominator) should submit the following:

a) A provisional title for their presentation
b) Details of their field of research
c) A CV or brief biography
d) A formal letter of recommendation on headed note-paper from his/her academic supervisor supporting the application.*

* Candidates may submit their materials directly to the Asiatic Society of Japan, via e-mail, to info@asjapan.org. However, the letter of recommendation should be submitted to info@asjapan.org by the academic supervisor (not the candidate).

Award
• Certificate of Recognition from the ASJ Board and HIH Princess Takamado, the Honorary Patron of the Asiatic Society of Japan
• Research award of 50,000 yen, courtesy of the Hugh E. Wilkinson Foundation
• Article to be submitted to the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, the Society’s annual journal.

Results
A maximum of four young scholars (up to age 35, although consideration will be given to those up to age 40, consisting of up to two non-Japanese and two Japanese scholars), will be selected to give a presentation for 20 minutes each. Candidates will be notified of the selection results at the end of August.

* For further details, please e-mail the ASJ Office at info@asjapan.org, and title your e-mail “2022 Young Scholars’ Program.” 

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