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Shobita Parthasarathy

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Core faculty

Shobita Parthasarathy

Professor of Public Policy; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy program
Parthasarathy studies the governance of emerging science and technology and the politics of evidence and expertise in policy in comparative and international perspective. Her current research focuses on equity in innovation and innovation policy. She co-hosts The Received Wisdom podcast.

Podcasts

From A.I. to zero emissions Ford School faculty host and are featured in a variety of podcasts, covering policy topics from artificial intelligence, everyday economics, national security, and more.   My job has always been to demonstrate to...
Publication

A tale of two perspectives on innovation and global equity

Feb 13, 2024
Inclusive innovation—the idea of introducing technologies designed for and by the poor to boost economic growth in impoverished communities—often misses the real problems facing these communities and champions solutions that benefit entrepreneurs at...
State & Hill

Faculty news, fall 2023

Dec 12, 2023
Axelrod's adventures Robert Axelrod, William D. Hamilton Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, writes about the difficulties and rewards of interdisciplinary collaboration in his new autobiography, A Passion for Cooperation: Adventures...
State & Hill

Discourse: Fordies in the news, fall 2023

Dec 12, 2023
“Rather than a single terrorist attack, this was a complex operation that involved commando teams and rocket attacks against multiple targets. The fact that Israel appears to have lacked advance warning is surprising, given Israel’s excellence in...
State & Hill

Spotlights, fall 2023

Dec 10, 2023
What’s on the barbie? Economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson were on the guest list as the White House hosted a State Dinner for Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in October. Skills match More than fifty...
News

Parthasarathy named to prestigious French council

Dec 8, 2023
Ford School professor Shobita Parthasarathy has been named to the scientific council for ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety. ANSES is a public administrative body reporting to the Ministries of Health,...
In the Media

"Appropriative" patents a long-term problem - Parthasarathy

Sep 1, 2023 NPR Planet Money
The way that a lot of pharmaceutical companies got their knowledge was often from going to other countries and finding out about Indigenous knowledge and then coming back and testing that. So there's a famous case of Eli Lilly patenting a treatment...
News

STPP to explore best practice in community engagement

Aug 1, 2023
As technologists and scientists increasingly engage with communities in order to enhance the societal benefits of their work, and demonstrate its public value, it is important to ensure that such engagements benefit the people they claim to serve....
Publication

Parthasarathy calls for reimagining the innovation process

Jul 19, 2023
The basic model of technological innovation in the U.S. has relied upon academic research and private sector commercialization. While the standard approach has stimulated macroeconomic growth, produced many valuable products, and created jobs,...
In the Media

Parthasarathy: ChatGPT reinforces human biases

Jun 18, 2023 WDET
Shobita Parthasarathy says ChatGPT simply reiterates language that humans have already created, and that often the ideas and biases that humans exhibit are reinforced by the tool. “[ChatGPT] is not magic. It’s also not an asteroid. It is us. It...
State & Hill

Discourse: Fordies in the news, spring 2023

May 3, 2023
"The Republicans are just in a really difficult situation, because their margin is so small and this bloc is so determined. They want to be able to stymie things if things are not going their way. This is an effort to wield as much power as they can...
News

STPP receives grant to study STEM-in-Society training

Apr 21, 2023
As science becomes more central to our daily lives—whether for predicting the impacts of climate change, transforming our physical and cognitive capabilities, or developing life-saving pharmaceuticals—socially responsible research and innovation are...
News

STPP gift to expand educational opportunities for undergraduates

Mar 22, 2023
The Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) program has received a $250,000 gift to expand educational opportunities for undergraduates across campus. The gift comes from Phil (LSA ’87) and Julie (LSA ’88) Hollyer, parents of Keegan (Ford BA...
In the Media

AI will 'turbocharge' inequalities in health care - Parthasarathy

Mar 16, 2023 Bridge Michigan
Shobita Parthasarathy, Bridge Michigan: "Health care systems don't even know what data they're missing. That (AI) gets integrated into medical care as a mechanism for achieving efficiency. But they do that without realizing that it's going to...
In the Media

Parthasarathy on AI technology perils

Feb 28, 2023 Business Insider
Business Insider: Run-ins with users show some of the potentially troubling outcomes to expect when companies experiment with the public on new AI technologies, said Shobita Parthasarathy, a public policy professor at the University of Michigan, who...
In the Media

Parthasarathy weighs in on implications of ChatGPT

Feb 6, 2023 Nature
Shobita Parthasarathy, Nature: "Besides directly producing toxic content, there are concerns that AI chatbots will embed historical biases or ideas about the world from their training data, such as the superiority of particular cultures, says...
News

Ford School faculty launch open online courses

Dec 19, 2022
Three Ford School faculty have developed exciting new online courses to equip learners and professionals around the globe with interdisciplinary skills that help them engage in and inform complex public policy decision-making processes. Elisabeth...
State & Hill

Faculty News, fall 2022

Dec 19, 2022
Jenna Bednar published “The Fractured Superpower: Federalism is Remaking U.S. Democracy and Foreign Policy,” in Foreign Affairs. The Coalition for Networked Information, the Association of Research Libraries, and EDUCAUSE awarded Paul Courant the...
News

Seeking inspiring scholar and changemaker—please apply

Dec 15, 2022
The University of Michigan has officially launched its invitation to apply to be the next Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. The job description calls for “an experienced and inventive...
News

Parthasarathy discusses implications of Large Language Models

Nov 7, 2022
Large Language Models (LLMs) are artificial intelligence tools that can read, summarize and translate texts and predict future words in a sentence letting them generate sentences similar to how humans talk and write. Shobita Parthasarathy, professor...
News

Ford School faculty contribute to Anti-Racism Hiring Initiative

Oct 31, 2022
Three Ford School faculty members have played an integral role in U-M's Anti-Racism Hiring Initiative, providing expertise and guidance to the initiative. The Anti-Racism Hiring Initiative is led by the Office of the Provost and aims to bring 21...