Dr Brent Mittelstadt

Brent Mittelstadt is a philosopher specialising in data ethics in relation to algorithms, machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, Big Data, and medical expert systems.

Email: brent.mittelstadt@oii.ox.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1865 287221

Brent Mittelstadt is a Research Fellow and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in data ethics at the Oxford Internet Institute, a Turing Fellow and member of the Data Ethics Group at the Alan Turing Institute, and a member of the UK National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee. He is an ethicist focusing on auditing, interpretability, and ethical governance of complex algorithmic systems.

His research concerns primarily digital ethics in relation to algorithms, machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, Big Data, and medical expert systems. Currently, he is examining the feasibility of ethical auditing of decision-making algorithms, and the development of standards and methods to ensure fairness, accountability, transparency, interpretability and group privacy in ‘black box’ algorithmic systems. His work has also recently crossed into the field of data protection and privacy law, in particular concerning the implications of the EU General Data Protection Regulation on the governance of AI and automated decision-making systems.

Previously, he has been part of the EPSRC’s PETRAS IoT Hub, to develop ethical guidelines for designing the health-related Internet of Things, and collaborated with Prof. Luciano Floridi on the ‘Ethics of Biomedical Big Data’ project at the University of Oxford. His doctoral research examined the ethical implications of personal health monitoring devices, in particular how these devices introduce medical concerns into private spaces and undermine ‘internal goods’ of traditional medical relationships.

Research and supervision interests: 

Data ethics, data protection law, artificial intelligence, machine learning, medical expert systems, Big Data, predictive analytics, profiling, technology governance, epistemology

 

Positions held at the OII

  • British Academy Research Fellow, January 2018 –
  • Research Associate, February 2017 – December 2017
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, October 2014 – February 2017

Latest blog posts

Current projects

Past projects

  • Data Financing for Global Good: A Feasibility Study

    Participants: Professor Vili Lehdonvirta, Dr Brent Mittelstadt, Dr Greg Taylor, Yin Yin Lu, Artem Kadikov, Professor Helen Margetts

    This project, and the resulting report, provides a first step in the assessment of data financing as a mechanism for social good in the data economy.

  • Ethical Auditing for Accountable Automated Decision-Making

    Participants: Dr Sandra Wachter, Dr Brent Mittelstadt

    This project aims to ensure that automated decision-making systems remain accountable and comprehensible to the individuals affected by their decisions.

  • Ethics of Biomedical Big Data

    Participants: Professor Luciano Floridi, Dr Brent Mittelstadt

    This project seeks to investigate the ethical aspects and requirements of Big Data in preparation to develop a European framework for the ethical use of Big Data in biomedical research.

Books

  • Mittelstadt, B.D. and Floridi, L. (2016) The Ethics of Biomedical Big Data. Springer.

Chapters

  • Mittelstadt, B., Fairweather, B., Shaw, M. and McBride, N. (2015) "The ethical implications of personal health monitoring" In: Business Law and Ethics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications. 1414-1440.
  • Mittelstadt, B., Stahl, B. and Fairweather, B. (2013) PHM-Ethics and ETICA: complementary approaches to ethical assessment.. 117-135.

Conference papers

  • Timmersman, J. and Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2014) "Reflexivity and Value-Sensitive Design", Computer Ethics: Philosophical Enquiry (CEPE) 2014 conference proceedings.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M., Fairweather, N.B., McBride, N. and Shaw, M. (2012) "Privacy, risk and personal health monitoring", ETHICOMP 2013 Conference Proceedings.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M., Fairweather, N.B., McBride, N. and Shaw, M. (2010) "Ethical issues of personal health monitoring: a literature review", ETHICOMP 2011 Conference Proceedings.

Journal articles

Reports

  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2013) "On the ethical implications of personal health monitoring" In: A conceptual framework for emerging discourses. Leicester: De Montfort University.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2013) "Privacy and personal health monitoring" In: FRRIICT Observatory.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2013) "Personal health monitoring" In: FRRIICT Observatory.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2013) "Personal data protection" In: FRRIICT Observatory.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2009) Transforming the Brute: On the Ethical Acceptability of Creating Painless Animals. Linkoping University Electronic Press.

Internet publications

  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M., Wachter, S. and Russell, C. Counterfactual Explanations Without Opening the Black Box: Automated Decisions and the GDPR.
  • Digital Social Research: Methods Core

    This course provides students with the opportunity to engage with the methodological, ethical and philosophical underpinnings of quantitative and qualitative social science research practices.

  • Ethics of Biomedical Big Data. Part 1: Introduction

    Recorded: 27 April 2015

    Duration: 00:05:37

    Workshop bringing together expertise to address emerging challenges in the field, and the requirements for a European framework for ethical usage of biomedical Big Data.

  • Ethics of Biomedical Big Data. Part 3: Brent Mittelstadt

    Recorded: 27 April 2015

    Duration: 00:19:29

    Workshop bringing together expertise to address emerging challenges in the field, and the requirements for a European framework for ethical usage of biomedical Big Data.

  • Workshop: Ethics of Biomedical Big Data

    27 April 2015

    Workshop bringing together expertise to address emerging challenges in the field, and the requirements for a European framework for ethical usage of biomedical Big Data.

  • Are computers turning into bigots?

    25 January 2018 The Daily Mail


    Dr Brent Mittelstadt, a researcher in data ethics at Oxford University’s Internet Institute, has been studying the rise of super-powered robot decision makers.

  • I’ll Be Watching You – Privacy in a Surveillance Age

    12 November 2015 ethics centre


    Australia has passed a new data retention law for telecommunications providers which requires Telecoms and ISPs to retain metadata of personal communications for two years. Brent Mittelstadt considers the implications for individuals' privacy.

  • BBC Word News report on Google time lapse images

    19 May 2015 BBC World News


    Google and the University of Washington have created a set of striking time-lapse photos using publicly available photos. Brent Mittelstadt comments on the ethical issues raised by the increasing efficiency of data mining techniques.

  • Are doctors gradually becoming surplus to requirements?

    1 May 2015 ing.world


    As diagnostic health-related technology advances doctors may be seen as 'second opinions'. Brent Mittelstadt has concerns and is currently working on specific proposals to regulate companies' data collection and use.