Dr Joanna Bryson from the Department of Computer Science has been appointed to a new global advisory council which will offer guidance to Google on the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies.

Dr Bryson is one of eight experts who form the inaugural Advanced Technology External Advisory Council, which will meet four times this year. Google will publish a report of the group’s discussions to inform the wider technology sector, which could cover areas like automation, facial recognition and fairness in machine learning.

Alongside Dr Bryson are seven other members including experts in policy, privacy, mathematics, machine learning, philosophy and diplomacy.

Dr Bryson is a leading expert in the ethical use of AI. She helped develop the EPSRC Principles of Robotics, has researched the presence of bias in artificial intelligence and has won an outstanding achievement award for her contribution to the ethics of AI.

She said: “The emergence of 'tech giants' with concentrated wealth not only in economic terms but of data and talent is one of the many great challenges of AI ethics. I'm honoured to be asked to work in this capacity, although also concerned about the challenges. The strengths and diversity of the appointed board members highlight the complex and urgent nature of the concerns we all face as we look where technology is taking us, and on our global connectedness and interdependency.

"I'm grateful that Bath has always allowed me to pursue the research I saw as critical, and look forward to what we as a community will achieve in shaping AI policy as we work through opportunities like this with the resources we have here, now particularly centred around accountable, responsible and transparent AI."

She has argued that humans and corporations must bear responsibility for the AI that they build and that transparency and responsible governance are essential to protect individuals and society, particularly in regards to privacy.

Her present research includes investigating how people interact with humanoid robots.

She is also closely involved in the new UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI (ART-AI) based at the University of Bath, which will train a new generation of experts in accountable, responsible and transparent artificial intelligence (AI).