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Core faculty

Yousif Hassan

Assistant professor

Yousif Hassan is an assistant professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. His work examines the social, economic, and political implications of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and big data focusing on the relationship between race, digital technology, and technoscientific capitalism. Hassan’s interest is at the intersection of social and racial justice, and technology policy. His most recent project investigates the development of AI and its innovation ecosystem across multiple African countries focusing on data governance and the sociotechnical knowledge production practices of the state, scientists, and the tech industry. 

Hassan is a former Illinois distinguished fellow at the School of Information Sciences and a faculty affiliate with the Center for African Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He was a research fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He started his career as a software engineer, including as both a manager in multinational corporations and a co-founder of a tech company focused on AI, blockchain, and digital transformation, which led him to the academic field of science and technology studies. 

Educational background

  • PhD in Science and Technology Studies, York University, Toronto
  • MA in Science and Technology Studies, York University, Toronto
  • Master of Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton
  • B.Sc. (Honors) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Khartoum, Sudan

Professional affiliations

  • Associate Member, Institute for Technoscience & Society, York University  
  • Associate Fellow, Harriet Tubman Institute, York University  
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)    
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)  
  • Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)  
  • African Studies Association (ASA)    
  • Association of Internet Researchers   
  • Canadian Communication Association (CCA)  
  • Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS)  
  • Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science (CSHPS)  

Recent publications

  • Hassan, Y. (forthcoming). AI as a state building experiment. In C. Borch & J. P. Pardo-Guerra (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Machine Learning. Oxford University Press.  
  • Hassan, Y. (forthcoming). Pan-African AI strategy: Current debates and approaches. Discover Artificial Intelligence.  
  • Hassan, Y. (2023). Governing algorithms from the South: A case study of AI development in Africa [Special issue]. AI & SOCIETY, 38(4), 1429–1442.   
  • Hassan, Y. (2022). The Evolution of the Sudanese Authoritarian State: The December Uprising and the Unravelling of a ‘Persistent’ Autocracy. In Ö. E. Topak, M. Mekouar, & F. Cavatorta (Eds.), New Authoritarian Practices in the Middle East and North Africa (pp. 252–275). Edinburgh University Press.   
  • Hassan, Y. (2020). The politics of sharing: Sociotechnical imaginaries of digital platforms [Special issue]. Information Polity, 25(2), 159–176.