Project Lead: Seth Lazar
Associate Professor Seth Lazar is Head of the School of Philosophy at the ANU. Author of one monograph with Oxford University Press (Sparing Civilians, 2015), he has another under contract on Duty under Doubt. He has published papers on risk, war, and moral decision theory in the world’s leading philosophy journals, and has received awards and grants from the American Philosophical Association, the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia, and the Australian Research Council.
“I have always been fascinated by moral decision-making under risk and uncertainty—from the ethics of war, to moral decision theory. I’m so excited to work with this team on the HMI project, because together we’ll bring fundamental research at the frontiers of knowledge to bear on one of the greatest challenges of our age.”
Discovery Lead: Toni Erskine
Professor Toni Erskine is Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs. Her work in politics and international relations includes an award-winning monograph on duties to enemies and strangers in international politics and law. She is an Associate Fellow of Centre for Future of Intelligence (Cambridge), has actively collaborated with Google on AI policy in the Asia-Pacific, and is the incoming Co-Editor of International Theory.
Foundations Lead: Colin Klein
Colin Klein publishes on philosophy and cognitive science (among other areas) in leading philosophy and science journals. His collaborative, cross-disciplinary research has commanded substantial public interest, including featuring in global media such as NY Times and Wired, and registering altimetric scores in the top 5%. His monograph on pain, with MIT Press, won the David Harold Tribe award. He is an ARC Future Fellow and ANU Futures Awardee, as well as lead CI on an ARC Discovery project to begin 2019. He is a founder of the Australasian Society for Philosophy and Psychology.
“My work has always focused on places where methodological issues in the sciences are driven by philosophical questions. Designing and understanding ethical machine intelligence is a chance to work on an issue that touches nearly every area of philosophy while having wide practical importance.”
Design Lead: Sylvie Thiébaux
Professor Sylvie Thiébaux has led a number of major projects in both applied and fundamental AI research, and is co-editor in chief of the top journal in the field.
Her awards include several best paper awards at leading conferences, and national innovation awards for the application of AI and optimisation technologies to smart grids. Her basic research and R&D grants total over $6.5m in the last five years. Her current research focuses on automated planning and scheduling, reasoning under uncertainty, and their applications to energy and transport.
Engagement/Impact Lead: Robert Williamson
Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and the Australian Mathematical Society, Professor Robert Williamson has led multiple major research projects, with significant government and industry support, including helping found NICTA (now Data61). He was lead author on Technology and Australia's Future (2015), and led a machine learning research group (2011-2015) reviewed as top five in the world.
“I have always tried to focus upon the most fundamental and important problems. My work on the Technology and Australia’s Future report reinforced to me the importance of taking societal concerns into account when designing new technologies. This project excites me not only because of its topicality and importance, but because of our globally differentiated approach and the outstanding team of folks across campus who share a unified vision of what we want to do.”
Dr. Jenny Davis was recently awarded an ARC DECRA fellowship to research ethics within tech startups. She is the author of a forthcoming book with MIT Press on the social impacts of technological design. She is co-editor of the Cyborgology blog, published in leading international sociology and communication journals, and recipient of an ANU Futures award. She engages in qualitative, theoretical, and experimental research into human behaviour.
Professor Marcus Hutter developed the first and still only sound and complete theory of general AI. Numerous best paper awards, over $2m sole-CI basic research grants, recent USD250k grant from Future of Life institute on the control problem for general AI. Has published in philosophy and decision theory as well as AI and Machine Learning.
Associate Professor Idione Meneghel works on reasoning under uncertainty, and game theory. She has published in top journals in economic theory, and is a visiting fellow at Yale. She is associate editor of Journal of Mathematical Economics.
Associate Professor Katie Steele’s work on decision theory, rational choice, the philosophy of economics and other related areas is published in the top journals in philosophy of science, as well as leading generalist philosophy journals. She has a monograph under contract with Cambridge University Press on managing severe uncertainty, and is an associate editor of Philosophy of Science, one of the leading journals in the field. She has substantial interdisciplinary and policy experience, through work on climate change and economic theory. She is also an ANU Futures Awardee.