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Professor Philip N Howard is Director of the Oxford Internet Institute and Professor of Sociology, Information and International Affairs.

Areas of interest

The impact of digital media on political life around the world. How new information technologies are used in both civic engagement and social control in countries around the world. 

What makes Oxford such a good place to work in AI?

Oxford is unique for high-impact research that shapes how new technologies get designed and how governments shape innovation through policy. New technologies, data and algorithms impact every aspect of daily life. It takes multidisciplinary research to investigate how we design, build and adapt to new innovations. And it takes many kinds of qualitative, quantitative and computational methods, crafted ethically, to understand how we socialise, how we learn, and how we can solve social problems through new information technologies. Our faculty are the global leaders in this research. The Oxford Internet Institute has the right mix of humanists, social scientists and computer scientists to work on AI, in terms of ethics, social impact and algorithmic design.

What is the biggest opportunity or challenge in AI?

Looking ahead, innovations in artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain are going to have a big impact on our economic, political and cultural institutions. The next big challenge is how to get the best out of such innovations, and how to do so ethically and equitably.

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