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Institute for Ethics in AI

Oxford leading the way in AI ethics


Philosophers made a major contribution to the development of medical ethics forty 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.

The Institute for Ethics in AI will bring 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 and the Institute is an opportunity to take a bold leap forward from this platform.

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.

The Institute has its own website which can be found here.

Launch of the Institute

The Institute launched on 16th February 2021 with a virtual panel discussion introduced by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, and chaired by the Institute's Director, Professor John Tasioulas. 

More than 1,300 people watched the event online and the panelists were Professor Joshua Cohen (Apple University), Professor Hélène Landemore (Yale University) and Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt.

The University's website ran an article on the Institute on its homepage to mark the day of the launch, marking its achievements so far and its ambitious plans for the future. You can read it here.

A new, dedicated website and logo for the Institute was also unveiled on the day of the launch. This is regularly updated with the latest news, research and events from the Institute.

The Ethics in AI seminars and events

The Institute runs a regular series of events which are all open to the public. All past and future events can be found on the Institute's dedicated website here, along with links to watch (or re-watch) the live stream on Youtube. 


The Institute is already forging collaborations with government and policy officials, academics around the world, and industry leaders. We are seeking other partnerships and encourage anyone interested to contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter at @EthicsinAI.

Ethics in AI and Covid-19

Academics involved with the Institute are shaping the conversations around governmental responses to the pandemic. On 10 June Professor Michael Parker, a member of the Institute's Steering Group, has advised the UK's National Health Service on the ethics underpinning the development of its mobile contact tracing app. In a recent online discussion, he explained the ethical considerations needed to foster well-founded public trust and confidence when deploying an app-based approach to tracing people who have had Covid-19. 

AI at Oxford

The Institute will bring together academics from across Oxford, where there is wide expertise in all areas of AI and ethics. Some of Oxford’s AI research can be found here.

Many of these experts featured in the University's Futuremakers podcast series. In ten episodes, dozens of Oxford academics explored questions like: Are algorithms biased? Is AI good for our health? What will AI mean for the future of humanity? 

 The Institute itself is part of the Faculty of Philosophy, and you can find out more about past and upcoming events on the Philosophy website.

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