Press release

AI expert Joanna Bryson joins the Hertie School Centre for Digital Governance as Professor of Ethics and Technology

Bryson’s research to focus primarily on the governance of AI.

Berlin, 5 February 2020. Joanna Bryson, an expert in artificial intelligence (AI) and previously an associate professor at the University of Bath, will teach and conduct research as Professor of Ethics and Technology at the Hertie School beginning in February 2020. As the university’s 36th interdisciplinary faculty member, she will continue to expand the newly established Centre for Digital Governance together with director Gerhard Hammerschmid and other colleagues.

Bryson, who was born in the US, already held degrees in Psychology and Artificial Intelligence from the University of Chicago and the University of Edinburgh before receiving her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2002 to 2019, she was on the Computer Science faculty at the University of Bath. Bryson has also been affiliated with the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oxford, the School of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim, and the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. She is an internationally influential voice on digital ethics issues. Bryson was a member of Google’s Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) and has worked on AI policy with the OECD, the UN and the Red Cross.

Bryson’s research focuses primarily on AI and its regulation, though she is interested in the impacts of cognition and technology broadly. She says she is particularly attracted to the Hertie School’s interdisciplinary approach: “As a natural and social scientist, I continue to be involved in research on both natural and artificial intelligence. However, we have reached a point where governance issues have become such a focal point for further development that we need a comprehensive approach. My new colleagues at the Hertie School have expertise in studying policies and governments acting globally. I’m very excited to be able to work with them to test our theories and be better informed when I recommend policy.”

In addition to Gerhard Hammerschmid (Professor of Public and Financial Management) and Joanna Bryson, professors Luciana Cingolani (Assistant Professor of Public Administration), Thurid Hustedt (Professor of Public Administration and Management) and Daniela Stockmann (Professor of Digital Governance) teach and conduct research at the Centre for Digital Governance. It is one of the Hertie School’s five Centres of Competence dedicated specifically to research on key governance challenges of the coming decades. Besides digital governance, these include EU governance, fundamental rights, international security policy and sustainability.

You can find Joanna Bryson’s CV here.
You can find more information about the Centre for Digital Governance here.

The Hertie School in Berlin prepares exceptional students for leadership positions in government, business, and civil society. The school offers master’s, doctoral and executive education programmes distinguished by interdisciplinary and practice-oriented teaching, as well as outstanding research. Its extensive international network positions it as an ambassador of good governance, characterised by public debate and engagement. The school was founded in 2003 by the Hertie Foundation, which remains its major funder. The Hertie School is accredited by the state and the German Science Council.