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Society 5.0 – Chances and Risks of Digital Transformation and the Responsibility of Universities

The digital transformation involves all aspects of human life and is driven by innovative technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence as well as by the continued progress of IT. It harbours significant change – regarding both technology and society. This will provide our societies and individuals with tremendous opportunities – smart cities, smart homes, smart care etc. Yet, at the same time, unprecedented safety, legal, privacy and ethical issues need to be addressed in order to fully benefit from the given chances.

Digital transformation is at the top of the (scientific) political agenda in both Japan and Germany. It is, furthermore, one of the central interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary fields of Ruhr-University Bochum’s research, teaching and transfer.

This led to the choice of the topic for the first RUB Science Days with three renowned Japanese universities: The University of Tokyo, Osaka University and the University of Tsukuba. The focus will be on “Society 5.0”, a concept introduced into the societal and academic debate by the Japanese government and its council for science, technology and innovation in 2016 to tackle the chances and risks of digital transformation in close cooperation of politics, economy and science. Keynote speeches from leading scientists from RUB and its Japanese partner universities, scientific workshops and panel discussions promise to provide valuable insights not only into the general aspects of Society 5.0 but, in particular into the strategies of universities and their specific role and responsibility in dealing with them.