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Josh Cowls

Former MSc Student

Josh Cowls

Former MSc Student


Josh is also a Research Associate in Data Ethics at The Alan Turing Institute and a member of the Institute’s public policy programme, where he works with government bodies to translate principles of digital ethics into practice for policymakers. A Turing Doctoral Student, Josh’s research agenda centres on democratic decision-making in the digital era, and he is the author or co-author of work on AI ethics, state surveillance, online agenda-setting and the use of web archives, in publications such as New Media & Society, Minds and Machines, and in numerous edited volumes.

Josh is the Convenor of the Turing’s Ethics Advisory Group and a member of the Turing’s Data Ethics Group, and sits on the Digital Catapult Machine Intelligence Garage’s Ethics Committee. He was previously involved in the Turing’s work with the Information Commissioner’s Office on a framework for algorithmic explainability, and was part of efforts to establish the Ada Lovelace Institute. He is a regular contributor to Monocle 24 Radio.

Research Interests

Digital democracy, big data, the ethics of AI, agenda setting, web archives.

Positions at the OII

  • DPhil Student, October 2018 - July 2023
  • Research Associate, July 2017 - November 2019
  • Research Assistant, September 2013 - August 2015
  • MSc Student, October 2012 - July 2013


News & Press

Press Coverage

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