1. Home
  2. About ITEC
  3. Director-General's Message

About ITEC

Director-General's Message

Designing the Future Society with Experimental Social Science

Satoshi Taguchi, Director General

Satoshi Taguchi
Director General, ITEC,
Doshisha University

The advent of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) is having a significant impact on social life. This raises the question of how we perceive moral decisions made by AI, such as decisions made by autonomous vehicles. There is also concern about how AI will affect jobs. The progress of new technologies such as FinTech has created new businesses and services, but it can also widen the economic divide. Although it is important to design the society of the future in accordance with the development of AI-based technologies, this issue has not been sufficiently debated. In other words, society is not keeping up with the progress of technology.

The Institute for Technology, Enterprise and Competitiveness (ITEC) was established in 2003 with funding from OMRON Corporation, for the purpose of conducting scientific research on the entrepreneurship of the company’s founder, Mr. Kazuma Tateishi, and its technical innovations, and for sharing the results of the research with society. Since its foundation, ITEC has been working on the “Comprehensive Research for Technology, Enterprise and Competitiveness” project, which was selected for the 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE) program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, along with various other projects, under the leadership of the former Director Generals of ITEC, Prof. Yoshifumi Nakata and Prof. Hiroaki Miyoshi of the Faculty of Policy Studies. Through these projects, ITEC has been playing a leading role at Doshisha University in research on innovations, globalization of research, and education of young researchers. In 2020, ITEC launched a new initiative to tackle another research frontier to address the critical issue mentioned above, with the concept of “Designing a Bright Future Society Where Human Beings and Technologies Coexist,” building on the research achievements made so far.

ITEC will conduct research in three areas, 1) Organization, 2) Market and 3) Society, to explore how new technologies can affect the trust and empathy that underlie human society by using the methodologies of experimental social science and future design research, whose future-oriented vision has drawn increasing academic attention in recent years. In addition, we will perform groundbreaking research while continuing to serve as a platform of industry–government–university collaboration and interdisciplinary research encompassing science and the humanities, and to contribute to liberal arts education in the 21st century.

Amid drastic changes in society and mounting uncertainty, people are becoming increasingly anxious about the future. We are determined to build a new future by striving toward the ambitious goal of causing a major shift in society and contributing to a brighter future with our research achievements. We are committed to conducting research for the ultimate purpose of making ITEC the world’s leading lab on artificial intelligence and experimental social science.