Eight globally leading figures in the fields of technology, philosophy, ethics and policy have been appointed as the first Advisory Council for the Institute for Ethics in AI at Oxford University.
The Institute is part of the Philosophy Faculty and will be based in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities at the University of Oxford. It aims to tackle major ethical challenges posed by AI, from facial recognition to voter profiling, brain machine interfaces to autonomous weapons systems, and the ongoing discourse about how AI will impact employment on a global scale.
The Advisory Council will advise, guide and inform the Institute as it seeks to fulfil this ambition. It will bring in external perspectives from industry, NGOs, international organisations, public policy and academia, and ensure the work of the Institute stays closely connected to the rapidly evolving developments around AI. It met for the first time today (Thursday October 28th) and will continue to meet twice a year.
Its membership comprises:
- Dr Claire Craig CBE, Provost of The Queen’s College, Oxford, a member of the UK Government’s first AI Council, and a former Director of the UK Government Office for Science.
- Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University.
- Professor Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of the Central European University.
- Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE, British filmmaker and an advocate for children’s rights in the digital world.
- Baroness Onora O’Neill CBE, an expert in political philosophy and ethics and formerly Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge and President of the British Academy.
- Dr Anand Rao, Global Artificial Intelligence Lead at PwC in the US.
- Dr Fernanda Viégas, Principal Scientist at Google in London.
- Professor Yi Zeng, Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
Professor John Tasioulas, Director of the Institute for Ethics in AI, said: “I am really delighted that our Institute will be able to call upon the wisdom and support of the outstanding individuals who have generously agreed to serve on our Advisory Council. I am confident the Council will not only enrich the quality of our research on the urgent ethical questions thrown up by AI, but that it will also enhance the impact of this research in a world in which AI-related technology is increasingly pervasive."
Baroness Onora O’Neill, a member of the Advisory Council, said: “Digital technologies were initially greeted with high hopes for their potential to transform and improve human life. Today nobody doubts that they can also be used to harm and injure. So a systematic and rigorous approach to the ethics of AI, which is the Institute's aim, is now urgently needed.”
The Institute for Ethics in AI has also launched its new website this month. In addition to sharing recent research and news from the Institute, it also provides a hub that lists all AI ethics events happening across Oxford University that are open to the public. You can see more here: https://www.oxford-aiethics.ox.ac.uk/