What is the CHAIN?

  • Hokkaido University established a new research and education center, CHAIN, in July 2019.
  • It is a hub for interdisciplinary research and education at the intersection of humanities, Artificial Intelligence, and Neuroscience.
  • The inaugural ceremony was held on July 23, 2019.
  • The first international symposium will take place on November 9-10, 2019.
  • The graduate-level education program will start in April 2020.

Purpose of the CHAIN

The Center for Human Nature, Artificial Intelligence, and Neuroscience (CHAIN) is a research and education center for the interdisciplinary study of the humanities, social sciences, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. At the intersection of these disciplines, we would like to open up new directions in understanding “what human beings are.” In particular, we intend to integrate highly philosophical ideas with mathematical and empirical scientific methods and scientific findings through an intimate collaboration between specialists from diverse disciplines. In April 2020, we will launch a new graduate interdisciplinary program.

Job openings 【Closed 】

Three fixed-term positions (specially appointed associate professor, lecturer or assistant professor) are open in the fields philosophy, Artificial Intelligence, and Neuroscience or Psychology (closing date: July 15th, 2019, JST).

  • Philosophy [link]
  • Neuroscience or Psychology [link]
  • Artificial Intelligence [link]


From April 2020, the CHAIN will start a new graduate-level education program integrating humanities and sciences. Master and Ph. D students majoring humanities, social sciences, neuroscience, and computer science in graduate schools at Hokkaido University can participate in the program provided by the CHAIN. Participants will engage in interdisciplinary joint research on one (or more) of the four main topics – the self, consciousness, sociality, and rationality. Courseworks for acquiring basic and advanced skills and knowledge in related topics will also be provided.

The program consists of three modules.

  1. Program-based learning module
    Participants will take the coursework for acquiring knowledge and skills that are not provided in a graduate school they originally belong to.
  2. Platform learning module
    It is the core module for the entire program. All the participants are required to attend both the summer and the winter schools every year where international scholars actively working on the front lines of interdisciplinary research are invited. Participants can broaden their knowledge of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on the four major themes, and entering into the international research network by interacting with guest lecturers.
  3. Practical-learning module
    Participants are required to engage in international or domestic research internships for pursuing occasions for new interdisciplinary research collaborations. Business internships at collaborating IT or AI-related companies will also be available for testing what they learned in the program in practice. It is promoted to use the summer and winter schools as an opportunity for finding suitable places for the internships.

Those who get through the program with credit are entitled to receive a diploma.

News & Events

【Finished】Announcement of Inaugural Ceremony

Center for Human Nature, Artificial Intelligence, and Neuroscience will hold an inaugural ceremony for celebrating the opening the center on July 23, 2019, at Sapporo Campus of Hokkaido University. We’ll explain the background, purposes and planned activities of the CHAIN. Three invited plenary speakers who are concerned with the CHAIN give a lecture on the latest interdisciplinary research conducted at the crossroads of humanities and sciences.

[see further details]


Center for Human Nature, Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience
Faculty of Humanities and Human Sciences
Hokkaido University

N10W7, Kita-ku, Sapporo
Hokkaido, 060-0810, JAPAN

Tel. +81 11-706-4049
Email. office [at] chain.hokudai.ac.jp