John Burden

Programme Co-Director | Senior Research Fellow


John is programme co-director of the Kinds of Intelligence programme. He is also a senior research fellow on the RECoG-AI project within Kinds of Intelligence.

Here John’s work focuses on developing robust evaluation frameworks for AI systems in order to properly understand these systems’ capabilities and limitations. John also is a Senior Research Associate on the Solid Foundations project at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, where his work investigates the risks arising from ubiquitous, general-purpose AI systems.

John has a background in Computer Science, having completed his PhD at the University of York, as well as holding a Master’s degree from Oriel College, Oxford.



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John Burden


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.


John Burden


Investigating the possibilities for bi-directional knowledge transfer between biological and artificial intelligence. AI has made rapid progress in recent years, overtaking human performance on complex tasks. However, there remain many areas where AI cannot compete with even simple biological organisms. Such areas include understanding object permanence and intuitive physics, one-shot learning, intelligent exploration and generalising […]

John Burden


RECOG-AI aims to improve AI evaluation by providing a framework and benchmarks for measuring the capabilities of AI systems.  RECOG-AI is a two-year (2021-2023) DARPA-funded project on the Robust Evaluation of Cognitive Capabilities and Generality in Artificial Intelligence. The RECOG-AI project is split into three core research packages, as below. Codify The first work package is the […]

John Burden

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 […]