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Dr Ana Valdivia

Lecturer in AI, Government & Policy

Dr Ana Valdivia

Lecturer in AI, Government & Policy


Ana Valdivia is a Departmental Research Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Government & Policy at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII). Ana investigates how datafication and algorithmic systems are transforming political, social and ecological worlds. Building on her experience as a mathematician and computer scientist, her interest lies in investigating how AI is impacting on local communities, borders and territories. In her current research, Ana aims to examine the political and environmental impact of AI by understanding its life cycle from mineral extractivism, data centres and electronic waste dumps. She is also interested in analysing algorithmic resistance and oppression from feminist lens.

Her previous research has analysed the impact of datafication technologies from a critical perspective in different contexts such as migration or criminal justice. She has analysed the colonial and racial legacy of biometrics, which has been featured in relevant conferences like ACM Fairness, Accountability and Fairness in Machine Learning. As a postdoctoral researcher at King’s College London, she developed digital methodologies to unveil which algorithmic systems are used in the field of border security, such as biometric databases or maritime surveillance algorithms. Moreover, Ana led a collaboration with magistrates in Spain to understand the impact of gender-based violence risk assessment tools implemented in courts, which was featured by the Montreal AI Ethics Institute. Her transdisciplinary research agenda stems from the ability to combine quantitative and qualitative methodologies bridging the gap between computer and social science; and collaborate with scholars from a range of different disciplines, including political science, philosophy and law. Ana also serves as a co-editor of Big Data & Society journal.

In 2023, her academic contribution to AI was awarded by the British Academy. In 2022, Ana was awarded with the Post-Doctoral Enrichment Award by The Alan Turing Institute. She is a former fellow of Data Science for Social Good program at University of Chicago (USA). Ana has recently been invited as a keynote speaker by Tecnológico de Monterrey (México).

She is actively collaborating with international grassroot organisations such as AlgoRace or Tierra Común to raise awareness on how algorithmic harms impacts on racialised subjects. Ana also collaborates with Post Apocalipsis Nau podcast where she brings her critical perspective towards digital technologies to the general public. She also writes in the Jevon’s Paradox blog, where she examines power unbalances between science, technology and knowledge. Her work has been widely featured in international media outlets (Público, El País, El Salto,

Research Interests

Areas of Interest for MSc or Doctoral Supervision

Ana is interested in supervising projects from an original perspective on AI in a diversity of fields. As a convenor of the module on Fairness, Transparency and Accountability in Machine Learning, she invites proposals that creatively examine gaps and explore possibilities in the field of critical AI studies. She invites proposals from different backgrounds and focused on context such as: environmental, migration or gender studies. This is a list of possible topics, but not restrictive:

  • Analyse algorithmic harms from local communities and stories;
  • Explore algorithmic resistance in different geographies from a political perspective;
  • Design of quantitative and qualitative methods (machine learning or natural language intertwined with ethnographic techniques);
  • Analyse the role of algorithmic accountability frameworks in our society;
  • Critiques and provocations in the so-called field of AI Ethics (criti-hype).

She strongly encourages students or DPhil candidates from any background willing to learn transdisciplinary methods within critical algorithmic studies to apply with her.

Positions at the OII

  • Lecturer in AI, Government & Policy, September 2022 -




News & Press

Blogs & Press releases


Current Courses

Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning

Integrating historical and cultural context with contemporary scholarship, this course equips students with the technical and conceptual tools to engage critically with machine learning research and practice.