The potential impacts of artificial intelligence are becoming global and a similarly global approach to tackling them is needed. The goal of this project is to expand current AI ethics discussions to include human- and culture-centred international views from thee UK and Japan. By contrasting Japanese and Anglo-European ethical, legal, and sociocultural understandings of privacy, agency, and trust and through cooperative engagement, we will leverage comparative cultural analysis and empirical learning in order to formulate principles-based policy recommendations for AI governance.

Explaining the science

To help achieve this, the PATH-AI project will focus on building AI governance policy recommendations from the bottom-up. We will start by examining the cultural, religious, philosophical, political, sociological, and legal traditions of privacy, agency, and trust in the UK and Japan with a focus on interactions between humans and inanimate objects, such as robots and AI. Normative beliefs fundamentally ground and shape the institutions created in society. By comparing the Anglo-European and Japanese traditions, we can draw a comprehensive view of privacy, agency, and trust in human-AI ecosystems, expanding or delimiting these concepts.

A key part of the PATH-AI project will be to explore how art can act as a means of intercultural dialogue and communication between citizens. As part of that, art exhibitions, motivated by the many dimensions of privacy, agency, and trust, will be organised in the UK and Japan.

Following on from this, we will engage with stakeholders extensively through regular working groups which will collaborate to co-design a unique culture-informed international governance framework for AI ethics, based on the enriched UK and Japanese traditions of PAT vis-à-vis AI. Through this work, we will also identify policy shortcomings and make concrete recommendations.

Project aims

Through this project we will develop and pilot a new approach to inter-cultural co-design of a culture- and human-centric governance framework for a more ethical and equitable human-AI ecosystem.

As the impact of AI technologies spreads worldwide, there will be an increased need for international governance regimes that help societies decide how to organise and structure human-AI interactions. In order to build such international consensus, it is important to ensure we can work together, learn from each other, and build upon diverse cultural traditions that ensure policies are truly human-centred and adapted to their particular local contexts.

This project will lay the foundations for such intercultural dialogues. It will showcase how different cultural traditions can mutually enrich each other and fund context-specific policy recommendations for the governance of AI. We will establish a leading role for individual and culture-centred approaches to AI ethics dialogues and use it to deliver clear and practicable recommendations for future AI governance. In the process, we will not only enrich the research area theoretically, but we will also build an intercultural bridge between British and Japanese citizens and between stakeholders and public authorities.


By challenging the limits of current AI ethics discussions, we will extend AI ethics to a wider landscape of cultures, values, and societies and explore how these have funded the nature and dynamics of the human-AI ecosystems within the UK and Japan. In the process, we will deepen our understanding of the meaning and contrast of privacy, agency, and trust in the UK and Japan, the role normative values and principles play in informing governance and institution-creation, and pilot a novel approach to sustainable intercultural dialogue to ground cutting edge policy.

By looking towards the past and seeking valuable lessons, we hope to inform the future – how should human-AI ecosystems look like in order to ensure ethical and equitable innovation that benefits all.