Joi Ito is an activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and scholar focusing on the ethics and governance of technology, tackling complex problems such as climate change, societal inequity and redesigning the systems that support scholarship and science. As director of the MIT Media Lab and a Professor of the Practice in Media Arts and Sciences, he supports researchers at the Media Lab to deploy design, science, and technology such AI, cryptography, and synthetic biology to transform society in substantial and positive ways.
Ito is a member of the 2017 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Visiting Professor of Law from Practice at the Harvard Law School, where he and Jonathan Zittrain teach ethics and governance of artificial intelligence. Ito is chairman of the board of PureTech Health and was previously the board chair and chief executive of Creative Commons. He serves on the boards of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The New York Times Company. In Japan, he was a founder of Digital Garage and helped establish and later became CEO of the country's first commercial Internet service provider.
Among his honors are a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute and the IRI Medal. He is co-author of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future, and writes a monthly column for WIRED magazine. Ito earned a PhD from Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance; he also currently serves as a distinguished researcher at the Keio Research Institute at SFC's Internet and Society Laboratory.
(Note: This biography was up-to-date as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)