Message from the Dean
"Connecting All the Divides of Society"
The Graduate School of Information Science and Technology of Osaka University aims to"Connect All the Divides of Society" through the power of information science and technology (IST), and conducts research to solve a variety of social problems.
Due to the popularity of smartphones and the Internet, information tools and services have been widely spread in our daily life. In addition, due to the rapid development of bigdata analyses and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, information technologies have become essential for all scientific, business, social, and daily activities.
Some people are concerned that IST brings digital divide caused by different abilities to use IST and the loss of employment opportunities by AI. However, as history tells us, it depends on humans' behaviors, i.e., how we use technologies, whether technical innovation makes our life happy or unhappy.
Recently, we have been facing a serious problem of widening social gaps from various aspects such as income, age, living area (city, suburb, country), disability, or disease, but also between different religions and ideological ideas. While the rapid development of IST has caused the abovementioned concerns, we have no doubt that IST plays a significant role in solving social gaps and social divides. For example, AI, remote operation, and virtual reality (VR) technology can provide high-level educational or medical service to people living in poverty and/or underpopulated areas where teachers and doctors are lacking. Smart-cities, autonomous-driving, and care service technologies can support daily life of elderly and disabled people.
IST is no longer an academic discipline for specialized people to make use of computers. Instead, IST is for all people to capture the world, model it on computers, and solve various significant problems with free-minded ideas. So, we can say IST designs the society by understanding the world and humans. While it is needless to say that natural sciences aiming to discover unknown truths are important and respectful, IST has totally different attractions. Moreover, IST is even more powerful when it collaborates or is fused with other academic disciplines and technical areas than when studied alone.
The research level of our graduate school in the IST area is among the top in Japan. In some research fields, our members have been leading the community as top-ranked researchers in the world. Why don't you join us to study IST together and become a world-wide IST engineer or researcher who plays an important role in the future society?
Takahiro Hara, Dean/Professor
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology