Mar 17, 2023 10:13 JST

Source: Fujitsu Ltd

Fujitsu and Ochanomizu University establish new AI ethics research lab, leveraging AI technologies to promote gender equality

TOKYO, Mar 17, 2023 - (JCN Newswire) - Fujitsu and Ochanomizu University today announced the establishment of the "Fujitsu-Ochanomizu University Social Collaboration Program for AI Ethics", a new joint research laboratory to develop AI solutions contributing to the solution of gender equality issues. The two parties established the new laboratory on March 1, 2023, as part of Fujitsu's "Fujitsu Small Research Lab"(1) program and Ochanomizu University's Social Collaboration Program(2), one of the University's industry-academia collaboration programs.

Image 1: Ochanomizu University Institute for Gendered Innovations

Image 2: Overview of the initiatives of the Fujitsu-Ochanomizu University Social Collaboration Program for AI Ethics

Ochanomizu University in April 2022 established the Institute for Gendered Innovations(3) to promote research, innovation, and social communication based on gender perspectives, strengthening its track record in research on gender equality issues. Based on its expertise in trustworthy and ethical AI, Fujitsu developed technology to mitigate intersectional bias(4) to prevent AI from discriminating against different groups due to bias in learning data.

Within the new joint research program, the two parties will combine Fujitsu's AI ethics technology and Ochanomizu University's knowledge in gendered innovations to conduct pioneering R&D in AI solutions that enable quantitative and objective gender equality measures and promote the development of talent able to contribute to the solution of societal issues through interdisciplinary expertise.


Gender equality, which also represents one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remains an important issue worldwide. In the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, Japan was ranked 116th out of 146 countries worldwide(5), revealing significant gender inequality persists in the country. To address this issue, the Japanese Cabinet Office implemented measures including "The Fifth Basic Plan for Gender Equality"(6) as a basic act for realizing a gender equal society. However, social implementation of measures to achieve gender equality continues to be an ongoing challenge, as concerns - both in Japan and other countries worldwide - remain, that efforts to empower women might on the other hand create new, unintentional unfairness toward other parties.

To address these issues, Fujitsu and Ochanomizu University established the "Fujitsu-Ochanomizu University Social Collaboration Program for AI Ethics" to explore the possibility of utilizing AI solutions to contribute to the solution of gender inequalities. However, as AI itself can cause risks including the discrimination of minority groups due to bias in the AI training data, social trustworthiness represents a central focus in the development of AI systems. To this end, Fujitsu and Ochanomizu University aim to develop practical solutions to gender issues, while addressing the risk of bias in AI by leveraging Fujitsu's strength in R&D in ethical AI technologies and Ochanomizu University's research on gendered innovations. In addition to their R&D activities, the two parties further plan to nurture talent able to take the lead in solving societal issues by combining approaches from information science and social sciences.

Outline of the "Fujitsu-Ochanomizu University Social Collaboration Program for AI Ethics"

1. Period: March 1, 2023 - March 31, 2026

2. Location of the collaborative research laboratory: Institute for Gendered Innovations, Ochanomizu University (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan)

3. Outline of the joint research

As a first step of the joint project, Fujitsu and Ochanomizu University aim to develop an AI solution for highly reliable human resource assessment by the end of March 2024 to contribute to the realization of a diverse, equal and inclusive society. To approach ethical risks in AI models, the two parties will apply Fujitsu's technology to mitigate intersectional bias to human resource assessment AI technology and verify the fairness of the assessment results using evaluation methods including interviews and workshops, utilizing Ochanomizu University's expertise in the social sciences. Within the verification tests, the two parties will use AI technology to conduct quantitative analysis of the fairness of the assessments and present the decision-making process and facts behind the analysis results to ensure that the AI eliminates any unequal treatment of women, but at the same time does not create any new unfairness affecting the total majority. Based on the results of the tests, the two parties will further improve this human resource assessment AI to develop a technology that ensures fair and nondiscriminatory decisions.

Utilizing the results of this joint research, Fujitsu and Ochanomizu University will propose concrete solutions that contribute to the solution of gender inequality and societal issues.

The two partners further plan to hold seminars and workshops on various themes related to AI technologies and societal issues to nurture future specialists and leaders able to address societal issues through cross-sectional collaborations.

4. Roles and responsibilities

- Research and development of AI ethics technologies, application to gender equality issues
- Development of technological solutions

Ochanomizu University:
- Evaluation of the AI's judgment and assessment regarding social fairness
- Development of practical solutions to solve societal issues, policy proposals

5. Organization:
- Program Leader: Etsuko Saito (Professor, Institute for Gendered Innovations, Ochanomizu University)
- Program Sub-leader: Hiroya Inakoshi (Project Director, Human-AI Collaborative Society Project, Research Center for AI Ethics, Research Unit, Fujitsu)
- Izumi Nitta (Research Scientist, Human-AI Collaborative Society Project, Research Center for AI Ethics, Research Unit, Fujitsu)
- Mika Omori (Professor, Human Science Division, Faculty of Core Research, Ochanomizu University)
- Takayuki Ito (Professor, Natural Science Division, Faculty of Core Research, Ochanomizu University)
- 17 additional researchers from both Fujitsu and Ochanomizu University

(1) Fujitsu Small Research Lab: Initiative where Fujitsu researchers are embedded at technology incubators at universities in Japan and internationally to conduct joint research with some of the leading minds in their fields, including professors as well as the next generation of researchers.
(2) Ochanomizu University's Social Collaboration Program: The Social Collaboration Program accepts funds and researchers from research institutes and private companies to carry out collaborative research and education projects with shared interests.
(3) Gendered innovations: Gendered innovations research and technology development considers gender perspectives to find solutions that help create new innovations and contribute to the realization of gender equality. (For reference: Institute for Gendered Innovation (IGI) )
(4) Technology to mitigate intersectional bias: Technology developed by Fujitsu that mitigates intersectional bias that appear when attributes such as age, gender, and nationality are combined under certain conditions.
(5) Japan ranked 116th out of 146 countries worldwide: World Economic Forum "Global Gender Gap Report 2022"
(6) The Fifth Basic Plan for Gender Equality: Whitepaper Japanese Cabinet Office

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu's purpose is to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. As the digital transformation partner of choice for customers in over 100 countries, our 124,000 employees work to resolve some of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Our range of services and solutions draws on five key technologies: Computing, Networks, AI, Data & Security, and Converging Technologies, which we bring together to deliver sustainability transformation. Fujitsu Ltd (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.6 trillion yen (US$32 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, and remains the top digital services company in Japan by market share. Find out more:

About Ochanomizu University

Ochanomizu University was established in 1875 as Japan's first national institution of higher education for women, and now enjoys a history of over 145 years. As a pioneer of women's education in Japan, Ochanomizu University offers programs that will develop women capable of being leaders in politics, economics, academia, culture, and other fields on the international stage.

Press Contacts:

Fujitsu Limited
Public and Investor Relations Division

Ochanomizu University
Public Relations Office

Source: Fujitsu Ltd
Sectors: Cloud & Enterprise, Artificial Intel [AI]

Copyright ©2024 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Related Press Release

Fujitsu leverages data and AI to enable Panasonic EW's resilient supply chain management
May 29 2024 14:27 JST
Fujitsu unveils 1FINITY T250, an optical transmission solution that enables new connectivity services to achieve IOWN initiative
May 28 2024 09:45 JST
'Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision 2024': Leveraging AI and leading-edge technologies to deliver greater value to the environment, economies and people's well-being
May 23 2024 09:18 JST
Fujitsu and Mizuho leverage AI to track trends in humpback whale migration and promote sustainable tourism for Hachijo Island
May 21 2024 10:51 JST
Fujitsu chosen for GENIAC project, starts development of large language models for logical reasoning
May 17 2024 13:03 JST
Supercomputer Fugaku retains first place worldwide in HPCG and Graph500 rankings
May 13 2024 17:32 JST
Release of "Fugaku-LLM" - a large language model trained on the supercomputer "Fugaku"
May 10 2024 11:20 JST
Fujitsu introduces "explainable AI" for use in genomic medicine and cancer treatment planning
May 09 2024 09:41 JST
ServiceNow and Fujitsu announce strategic commitment to launch innovative cross-industry solutions
May 08 2024 07:52 JST
Fujitsu launches mainframe modernization automation service for the Japanese market
May 07 2024 16:53 JST
More Press release >>

Latest Press Release

More Latest Release >>