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Meet The Team

Director

Birkbeck/Institute of Philosophy
Alex Grzankowski

Birkbeck/Institute of Philosophy

Alex Grzankowski is Reader in Philosophy at University of London, Birkbeck College and the Associate Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London, School of Advanced Study. His current research is on representation and the representational theory of mind, with a focus on artificial minds and on the emotions.

Investigators

Barry Smith

Institute of Philosophy

Barry Smith is a professor of philosophy and director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London, School of Advanced Study. He is also the founding director of the Centre for the Study of  the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers,  psychologists and neuroscientists. A philosopher of language and mind,  his current research is on the multisensory nature of perceptual  experience, focusing on taste, smell and flavour. Barry is a frequent  broadcaster, who has appeared on BBC One’s Masterchef, BBC Two’s Inside  the Factory, on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, as well as In Our  Time and Radio 3’s FreeThinking. In 2010 he wrote and presented a  four-part series for the BBC World Service called The Mysteries of the  Brain and in 2017, wrote and presented a 10-part series for BBC Radio 4  called The Uncommon Senses.

Emma Borg

Institute of Philosophy

Emma Borg is Professor of Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London, School of Advanced Study. Emma’s main research interests lie  in philosophy of language (where she defends a position known as  ‘minimal semantics’), philosophy of mind (where she is interested in  what philosophers call ‘mindreading’, and our understanding of chronic  pain), and business ethics (asking what private sector organisations owe  to society). She has published widely in these areas. Emma was  previously Head of the Philosophy Department at the University of  Reading and Joint Director of the Reading Centre for Cognition Research.

Nicholas Shea

Institute of Philosophy

Nicholas Shea is Professor of Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London, School of Advanced Study. He is an  interdisciplinary philosopher of mind, and of psychology, cognitive  science and cognitive neuroscience. Nick has recently directed an ERC  research project on Metacognition of Concepts.  The London School of  Economics awarded him the 2020 Lakatos Award for his book Representation  in Cognitive Science (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Project Partners

Ben Henke

Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp

Ben Henke is a philosopher specializing in the philosophy of mind,  cognitive science, and epistemology, with an emphasis on perception.

He  is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Philosophical  Psychology at the University of Antwerp and a research fellow with the  Psyphas Program in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Haifa.

Murray Shanahan

Imperial College London/DeepMind

Murray Shanahan is Professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College London  and a Senior Research Scientist at Google DeepMind. His publications  span artificial intelligence, robotics, logic,

dynamical systems,  computational neuroscience, and philosophy of mind. His work up to 2000  was in the tradition of classical, symbolic AI. He then turned his  attention to the brain and its embodiment. His current interests include  neurodynamics, consciousness, machine learning, and the impacts of  artificial intelligence. His book "Embodiment and the Inner Life"  (Oxford University Press, 2010) was a significant influence on the film  Ex Machina for which he was a scientific advisor.

Anandi Hattiangadi

Stockholm University

Anandi Hattiangadi is Professor of Philosophy at Stockholm University  specialising in the philosophy of mind and language with research  interests in the philosophy of logic, the philosophy of cognitive  science, epistemology, metaphysics, metaethics, and cultural evolution.  Her monograph, Oughts and Thoughts: Rule Following and the Normativity  of Content responds to Kripke's (1982) argument for skepticism about  meaning and content. She has published extensively on the normativity of  meaning and content; the nature and normativity of belief; reductive  accounts of meaning and intentionality; the metaphysics of time, and  moral supervenience.

Herman Cappelen

The University of Hong Kong

Herman Cappelen is Chair Professor of philosophy at the University of  Hong Kong. His current research focus is on the philosophy of AI,  Conceptual Engineering, the conceptual foundations of political  discourse, externalism in the philosophy of mind and language, and the  interconnections between all of these.

Bence Nanay

Centre for Philosophical Psychology, University of Antwerp

Bence Nanay is Professor of Philosophy and BOF Research Professor  (ZAPBOF), and co-director of the Centre for Philosophical Psychology,  University of Antwerp. His research focuses on philosophy of mind,  philosophy of biology and aesthetics.

Iason Gabriel

Deepmind

Iason Gabriel is Staff Research Scientist at Google DeepMind. He is a  political theorist and ethicist based focusing on the moral questions  raised by artificial intelligence. Recent work addresses the challenge  of AI value alignment, responsible innovation, and human rights.

Rachel Sterken

The University of Hong Kong

Rachel Katharine Sterken is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong, and Principal Investigator of the project Meaning and Communication in the Information Age, which looks at how the nature of linguistic meaning and communication have changed because of advances in information technology, AI, and virtual reality. She studies the nature of online speech and manipulation, fake news, and conceptual engineering. She is co-editor of the forthcoming volume Communicating with AI: Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press).

Jackie Kay

DeepMind

Jackie Kay is dual-affiliated as a Research Engineer at DeepMind and PhD  student at the UCL AI Centre, supervised by Marc Deisenroth and Shakir  Mohamed. They have nine years of technical accomplishments in robotics and machine learning, from controlling autonomous sidewalk delivery  robots, dexterous robotic hands, and simulated nuclear fusion tokamaks, to conducting robotics and interpretability experiments for Gato, Deepmind’s generalist transformer agent, to evaluating the fairness and safety of foundation models. Their philosophical interests include the  epistemology of AI, posthuman and cybernetic perspectives on embodiment and the self, and the ethical development and distribution of new  technology.

Josh Dever

The University of Texas, Austin

Josh Dever is professor of philosophy at the University of Texas,  Austin. Coauthor (with Herman Cappelen) of Making AI Intelligible, he is  a leading philosopher of language.

Ben Steyn

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology

Ben Steyn is a senior R&D policy wonk at the UK Department of  Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). He has recently set up the  Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA), the UK's new R&D  funder purpose-built to unlock technological breakthroughs. Ben has also  recently finished a PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London, in  Philosophy and Political Science. He argues that a new '3rd axis' of  political ideology, trading-off value for technology against value for  nature, explains many debates across bioethics, AI, and environmental  policy.

Julia Haas

DeepMind

Julia Haas is Senior Research Scientist in the Ethics Research Team at  Google DeepMind. Previously, Julia was an Assistant Professor in the  Department of Philosophy and the Neuroscience Program at Rhodes College  and an affiliated researcher with ANU's Humanizing Machine Intelligence Grand Challenge. Julia’s research is in the philosophy of cognitive  science and neuroscience with a focus on the nature of valuation and its  role in theories of the mind. Her current work includes investigating  the possibility of meaningfully moral artificial intelligence.

David Papineau

King's College London

David Papineau is Professor of Philosophy of Science at King’s College London.  David has written widely on epistemology, metaphysics and the  philosophy of science and mind. His books include: For Science in the  Social Sciences (1979), Theory and Meaning  (1990), Reality and  Representation (1987), Philosophical Naturalism (1992), Thinking about  Consciousness (2002), Philosophical Devices (2012), Knowing the Score  (2017), and The Metaphysics of Sensory Experience (2021).


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