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Institute for Ethics in AI

Confronting the ethical implications of AI from a philosophical and humanistic perspective
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Meet the team

Our researchers are tackling the ethical side of AI from all angles. Read on to find out more about our experts and their research interests.

We receive support and guidance from a Steering Committee of academics from a range of disciplines at Oxford University, chaired by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal of Jesus College and Chair of the Open Data Institute.

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What is the Institute?

The Institute for Ethics in AI brings together world-leading philosophers and other experts in the humanities with the technical developers and users of AI in academia, business and government. The ethics and governance of AI is an exceptionally vibrant area of research at Oxford University and the Institute is an opportunity to take a bold leap forward from this platform.

The Institute is part of the Philosophy Faculty and will be housed in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities at the University of Oxford. It was announced in June 2019 following a donation from Stephen A. Schwarzman, and launched in February 2021 with a panel event to discuss AI in a Democratic Culture.

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Why AI Ethics matters

Philosophers made a major contribution to the development of medical ethics 40 years ago, and we are now at a tipping point where a similar ethical intervention is needed to cope with the questions raised by the rise of AI.

Every day brings more examples of the ethical challenges posed by AI, from face recognition to voter profiling, brain machine interfaces to weaponised drones, and the ongoing discourse about how AI will impact employment on a global scale.

This is urgent and important work that we intend to promote internationally as well as embedding in our own research and teaching here at Oxford.

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Our unique approach

A lively and noisy global debate about AI ethics is going on, but all-too-often the most influential voices are those of technology companies that stand to make enormous profits from AI.

The Institute is meeting an essential need in a democratic society: to enhance the quality of public deliberation on the ethical implications of AI by offering independent and informed perspectives grounded in a rigorously philosophical and humanistic approach. Our Director explains why the humanities must be at the forefront of AI ethics in a blogpost for the Ada Lovelace Institute.

The Institute in our own words...

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Upcoming events

Our mission is to join and shape the public debate about AI. So a central part of our activity is holding regular events in which we bring together world leaders in philosophy, technology and other fields to discuss the ethics of AI, both in-person and online.

We run Ethics in AI Seminars and Ethics in AI Colloquia, all of which are open to the public to attend, ask questions and give their views. Here, you can find the next events to put in your diary.

Institute Events   AI Ethics-related Events

The 5th AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society (AIES) will be held at University of Oxford from 1-3 August, 2022. The Conference is currently accepting submissions from PhD students for a special student program.

See what's trending on our Twitter

We post our latest news, events and thinking on AI ethics on our Twitter page. Follow and interact with us at @EthicsinAI.