Welcome to my website.
I’m a doctoral researcher based at the Oxford Internet Institute, exploring the ethics, politics, and social implications of digital technology. My doctoral research centres on the growing governance role played by operators of major online platforms, and what this means for democracy and online participation. My broader ongoing research interests include the ethics and governance of AI, the deployment of AI in the contexts of health and sustainable development, online political communication, and the applicability of political-theoretical concepts like sovereignty and legitimacy in the digital age. My past research has included work on big data, digital state surveillance, and the use of web archives in research.
My recent engagements have included serving as a Research Associate in the Alan Turing Institute’s public policy programme, as Convenor of the Turing’s Ethics Advisory Group, and as a member of the Ethics Committee of Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage.
I am also a frequent commentator on technology and politics for mainstream audiences, contributing to channels such as the BBC World Service and Times Radio. I present a regular round-up of tech news on Monocle 24’s morning show The Globalist, and co-host the (now award-winning) podcast Skeptechs, which focuses on politics and technology stories from around the world. Less often than I’d like, I also write about food, sport, and films.
This website is a semi-regularly updated repository of my academic research, writing, presentations, and media appearances. You can find me in other forms and formats on Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn and Google Scholar.
I was interviewed on Monocle 24 Radio earlier to discuss the delayed launch of an emergency alert system in the US:
The Monocle Globalist, 19th September
New blog post at The Turing:
Ethics and innovation belong hand in hand. By Helen Margetts, Cosmina Dorobantu, and Josh Cowls.
Myself and Luciano Floridi have released a new paper on SSRN:
Prolegomena to a White Paper on an Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society.
The paper discusses the opportunities and challenges of AI for society and reports the results of a meta analysis, which found that five principles – beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, justice, and explicability – undergird the emerging ethics of AI as expressed by leading multistakeholder organisations.
I am quoted in a new article in Raconteur, which also appeared in a supplement to the London Times:
The ethics of AI: how to hold machines accountable. By Nick Easen.
I am quoted in this New Scientist piece about new research for the ethical dilemma known as “the trolley problem”, and its implications for building autonomous systems.
Trolley problem tested in real life for first time with mice. By Clare Wilson.
Cowls, Josh, and Schroeder, Ralph (2018). Tweeting All The Way to the White House. In Boczkowski, Pablo & Papacharissi, Zizi. (Eds.). (2018). Trump and the Media. MIT Press.
Myself and Evan Higgins have a new book review in Internet Histories:
The internet revolution in the sciences and humanities.
The presentation of my MIT thesis, “From Trump Tower to the White House, in 140 Characters”, is now available:
How do you solve a problem like problem-solving? That is the motivating question behind efforts to develop general artificial intelligence — a quest brought vividly to life by Max Tegmark in his new book, Life 3.0…
Read more at Medium.