The Ethics of AI: Challenges and Opportunities Doctoral Studentship

University of Oxford

The Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, invites applications for a three-year doctoral studentship, which will lead to a DPhil (PhD) in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences at the University of Oxford, beginning in the academic year 2018-19. 

The successful candidate will investigate the ethical aspects, requirements, and desiderata underpinning the design and development of AI and develop original and innovative research to foster value-based and ethically sound solutions to the problems posed by AI. 
The student will be supervised by Prof. Luciano Floridi and Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo, and will be a member of, and collaborate with, the OII’s Digital Ethics Lab (DELab). The student will be located at the Oxford Internet Institute in Oxford although some travelling is envisaged to conduct fieldwork with AI companies and participate in national and international research meetings. Applicants should have a master-level degree in a relevant area, or plan to have completed a master-level degree prior to October 2018. Previous academic preparation may be in philosophy, ethics, policy and law, computer science, social science, or other relevant areas. 

The award pays all tuition and college fees and an annual maintenance grant of £9000 (2018–19). The usual University of Oxford eligibility rules apply to these studentships. Please see ( for more information.  International students who would be classed as overseas for fee purposes will need to pay the difference between the home/EU fee rate and the overseas rate.

The closing date for applications is 19th January 2018, although we strongly recommend submitting all your materials a week or two early since applications missing any part of the required materials (including letters of reference) cannot be considered.

For more information about the Oxford Internet Institute please visit 

At the Digital Ethics Lab we tackle the ethical challenges posed by digital innovation. We help design a better information society: open, pluralistic, tolerant, equitable, and just. Our goal is to identify the benefits and enhance the positive opportunities of digital innovation as a force for good, and avoid or mitigate its risks and shortcomings. 

We believe that technology can and must help solve social and environmental problems. The natural, social, and artificial worlds can foster each other. We consider digital ethics to be both humanistic and ecological. 
This is why we seek to interact with interested parties and stakeholders from all sectors and internationally, to identify the ethical opportunities, challenges, and risks presented by the digital world, and to provide independent research, advice, solutions, and strategic options to deal with them successfully. 

To this end, we develop innovative, foundational studies and offer relevant expertise, thought-leadership, and translational research on a broad range of key areas in digital ethics, including automation, algorithms, artificial intelligence, big data, cyberconflicts, data governance, data science, digital platforms, e-commerce, e-governance, e-health, information quality, Internet of Things, machine learning, personal data, persuasive technologies, privacy, protocols, robotics, security, social media, surveillance, and virtual or augmented reality. 

For more information about DELab please visit 

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