Jess Whittlestone

Senior Research Fellow, 2018-2021


Jess works on various aspects of AI ethics and policy, with a particular focus on what we can do today to ensure AI is safe and beneficial in the long-term.

She has a PhD in Behavioural Science from the University of Warwick, a first class degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Oxford University, and previously worked for the Behavioural Insights Team advising government departments on their use of data, evidence, and evaluation methods.

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Comment on the EU’s world-first AI regulation: ‘an historic opportunity’

J Whittlestone, H Belfield, S Ó hÉigeartaigh, M Maas, A Hagerty, J Burden & S Avin. Comment on the EU’s world-first AI regulation: ‘an historic opportunity. Leverhulme CFI Website, posted 4 May 2021.

Future Proof: The Opportunity to Transform the UK’s Resilience to Extreme Risks

Ord, T., Mercer, A., Dannreuther, S., Nelson C., Lewis G., Millet, P., Whittlestone, J., Leung, J., Anderljung, M., Hilton, S., Belfield, H. (2021). Future Proof: The Opportunity to Transform the UK’s Resilience to Extreme Risks.

A Citizen’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence

A Citizen’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence. A presentation given by John Zerilli and chaired by Jess Whittlestone as part of the Cambridge Festival, 2021.Originally streamed on Friday 26 March 2021 About this Event – John Zerilli writes:This presentation will set out what my new book, A Citizen’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence, hopes to achieve. Artificial intelligence […]

Canaries in Technology Mines: Warning Signs of Transformative Progress in AI

Artificial Canaries: Early Warning Signs for Anticipatory and Democratic Governance of AI. International Journal Of Interactive Multimedia And Artificial Intelligence, 6 (Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence, Paving the Way to the Future), (2021) 100-109. Abstract: In this paper we introduce a methodology for identifying early warning signs of transformative progress in AI, to aid anticipatory governance and […]

Overcoming Barriers to Cross-cultural Cooperation in AI Ethics and Governance

Overcoming Barriers to Cross-cultural Cooperation in AI Ethics and Governance. Philos. Technol. 33, 571–593 (2020). Abstract: Achieving the global benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) will require international cooperation on many areas of governance and ethical standards, while allowing for diverse cultural perspectives and priorities. There are many barriers to achieving this at present, including mistrust […]


Jess Whittlestone

Futures and foresight

AI is progressing rapidly, both in terms of fundamental research and application to scientific and societal challenges. Thresholds are being passed, for example, in the accuracy of voice recognition and machine translation, leading to these technologies moving from being novelties to wide-scale, everyday use, with broad economic ramifications. Future possibilities may become pressing challenges quite […]

Jess Whittlestone

Ethical and Societal Implications of Algorithms, Data and AI

This project synthesises existing research on the ethics of AI across disciplines and sectors, and proposes a roadmap for future work. Interest in the ethical and societal implications of technologies based on algorithms, data, and AI has exploded in many circles in the past decade: academic, policy, industry, activist, and popular media. The perceived opportunities […]

Jess Whittlestone

Governance, ethics and responsible innovation

Ensuring that the impacts of AI are beneficial in the near and long-term requires engaging with the principles and practices that underpin the development and deployment of AI. It requires shaping governance at the national and international level. And it requires the development of a global, cooperative community working fruitfully together to ensure that AI […]

Jess Whittlestone

Safety, security and risk

AI poses or intersects with a range of safety and security challenges, some of which are immediate and some of which may only manifest in future as more powerful systems are developed and deployed in a wider range of societal settings. Many of the most transformative impacts of AI, both in terms of potential benefits […]