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University of Michigan School of Information

Kentaro Toyama

Kentaro Toyama

W K Kellogg Professor of Community Information and Professor of Information, School of Information Email: Phone: 734/763-8427
Office: School of Information/NQ 3439 Faculty Role: Faculty Potential PhD Faculty Advisor: Yes Personal website


Kentaro Toyama is W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information and a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. He is the author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology. For more information see

Previously, he was a researcher at UC Berkeley and assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, which he co-founded in 2005. At MSR India, he started the Technology for Emerging Markets research group, which conducts interdisciplinary research to understand how the world's poorer communities interact with electronic technology and to invent new ways for technology to support their socio-economic development. The award-winning group is known for projects such as MultiPoint, Text-Free User Interfaces, and Digital Green. Kentaro co-founded the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) to provide a global platform for rigorous academic research in this field. He is also co-editor-in-chief of the journal Information Technologies and International Development.

Prior to his time in India, Kentaro did computer vision and multimedia research at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA, USA and Cambridge, UK, and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana.

Areas of interest

Information and communication technologies and development (ICTD), aspiration-based social development, theories of social change, data-centric analysis of social justice issues


AB, Harvard University, physics

PhD, Yale University, computer science


"2022-2023 Faculty Awards Recipients" Headshots of Kentaro Toyama, Melissa Chalmers, Cliff Lampe, and Kristin Fontichiaro.
UMSI faculty awards recognize excellence in instruction, service and community engagement

Four UMSI faculty members were recognized for their outstanding work in instruction, service and community engagement.

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"Quoted by Lifewire, Professor Kentaro Toyama, 'No, Google AI Isn't Self-Aware, Experts Say'" Headshot of Kentaro Toyama.
Toyama: Google’s AI isn’t sentient– but human-like intelligence is possible

Did Google engineers achieve AI sentience? Probably not, says professor Kentaro Toyama, but their project could have human-like intelligence. 


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