Professor Sandra Wachter, Oxford Internet Institute has been named as the winner of the CogX Outstanding Achievement & Research Award 2023, in the AI Ethics category. The seventh annual CogX awards celebrate the innovators and change makers impacting our world in the last twelve months.
The Outstanding Achievement Research Award recognizes the work of individuals who have contributed their services with a passion and commitment to knowledge, society, culture or innovation in the last twelve months. In the category of AI ethics, the awards recognise the work of those who understand the ethical risks of AI and take action to preserve our human values in an ever-changing technological setting. The category award also recognizes those individuals who inspire constructive dialogue on how to approach our future in an artificially intelligent world.
Professor Wachter was nominated for her outstanding contribution to researching the legal and ethical implications of AI, Big Data and robotics as well as internet and platform regulation. The award also recognizes her significant international impact on law, policy and business practice around the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence.
Highlights include her work on the governance and ethical design of algorithms, including the development of standards to open the ‘AI Blackbox’ and to increase accountability, transparency, and explainability. Her explainability tool – Counterfactual Explanations – has been implemented by major tech companies such as Google, Accenture, IBM, and Vodafone.
Professor Wachter was also nominated for her work on ethical auditing methods for AI to combat bias and discrimination and to ensure fairness and diversity with a focus on non-discrimination law. Her recent work has shown that the majority of bias tests and tools do not live up to the standards of EU non-discrimination law. In response, she developed a bias test (‘Conditional Demographic Disparity’ or CDD) that meets EU and UK standards, which Amazon has implemented in its cloud services technologies.
Professor Sandra Wachter, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, said: “I’m delighted to accept the CogX Outstanding Achievement & Research Award 2023, in the field of AI Ethics. This award also reflects the success of my research colleagues in the Governance of Emerging Technologies programme at the Oxford Internet Institute, and I’m very grateful for their ongoing support”.
OII Director, Professor Victoria Nash, said: “Sandra’s innovative research into the legal, ethical and technical implications of AI, machine learning and other emerging technologies continues to have significant impact on law, policy and business practice globally. It gives me great pleasure to see such a valued colleague being recognised for her outstanding contribution to the field of AI and ethics.”
Congratulations to all the winners of the CogX Awards 2023.