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Dr Brent Mittelstadt

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Brent Mittelstadt

Senior Research Fellow


Brent Mittelstadt is a Senior Research Fellow and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in data ethics at the Oxford Internet Institute, a Turing Fellow 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.

Brent also coordinates the Governance of Emerging Technologies (GET) research programme at the OII, which investigates ethical, legal, and technical aspects of AI, machine learning, and other emerging technologies.

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 led research 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 Interests

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

Positions at the OII

  • Senior Research Fellow, September 2019 -
  • British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, January 2018 - June 2021
  • Research Fellow, January 2018 - August 2019
  • Research Associate, October 2014 - February 2017


Integrity Statement

In the past five years my work has been financially supported by the Wellcome Trust, Sloan Foundation, Department of Health and Social Care via the AI Lab at NHSx, British Academy, John Fell Fund, Innovative Medicines Initiative, Alan Turing Institute, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Miami Foundation, and Luminate Group. As part of my science communication and policy outreach, I have served in an advisory capacity for the Office for National Statistics, Fable Data, Mind Foundry, and GSK Consumer Healthcare. I have also received reimbursement for conference-related travel from funding provided by DeepMind Technologies Limited.

I conduct my research in line with the University's academic integrity code of practice.

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Current Courses

Foundations of Social Data Science

This course will introduce to some of the fundamental questions that have been raised in this domain across the social sciences.