Sarah Dillon

Project Leader and Senior Research Fellow, October 2018-September 2019


Sarah Dillon was seconded to LCFI from the Faculty of English for the academic year, October 2018 to September 2019. During this time she was Programme Director of the AI: Narratives and Justice Programme.

Dr Dillon is a University Lecturer in Literature and Film in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge.  She is currently preparing two monographs arising out of the AI Narratives research. Listen: Taking Stories Seriously, co-authored with Claire Craig, makes a case for the value of attention to stories, and the importance of understanding their functions and effects, in the context of high-level decision-making and policy-making. Narrative Knowledge: Literature and Artificial Intelligence, investigates the role of literature in artificial intelligence research, addressing how AI researchers are influenced by literature, what direct roles literature plays in AI research, and how AI fiction imagines the role of literature in AI research and development. The book will demonstrate the contribution the study of literature makes to academic and public discussion of the social and ethical implications of AI.

Dr Dillon is author of The Palimpsest: Literature, Criticism, Theory (Bloomsbury 2007) and Deconstruction, Feminism, Film(Edinburgh University Press 2018). She is editor of David Mitchell: Critical Essays (Gylphi 2011), and co-editor of Maggie Gee: Critical Essays (Gylphi 2015) and AI Narratives: A History of Imaginative Thinking About Intelligent Machines (Oxford University Press 2020). She is Chair of the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies and General Editor of the book series Gylphi Contemporary Writers: Critical Essays. Dr Dillon was a 2013 BBC Radio 3/AHRC New Generation Thinker and regularly works as a literary broadcaster across BBC Radio 3 and 4.

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AI Narratives: A History of imaginative Thinking about Intelligent Machines

AI Narratives: A History of imaginative Thinking about Intelligent Machines PART I – ANTIQUITY TO MODERNITY 1: Homer’s Intelligent Machines: AI in Antiquity, Genevieve Liveley and Sam Thomas 2: Demons and Devices: Artificial and Augmented Intelligence before AI, E. R. Truitt 3: The Android of Albertus Magnus: A Legend of Artificial Being, Minsoo Kang and […]

AI: Life in the age of intelligent machines

A film produced by University of Cambridge and directed by Jonathan Settle. Leading Cambridge University researchers discuss the far-reaching advances offered by artificial intelligence – and consider the consequences of developing systems that think far beyond human abilities. Featuring CFI Researchers – Sarah Dillon, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Zoubin Ghahramani and Stephen Cave. Download Film

Gender and AI Panel – CogX 2019

Gender and AI Panel – CogX 2019 Video Recording of CogX panel featuring Carly Kind; Director Ada Lovelace Institute, Kanta Dihal, Gina Neff; Professor, University of Oxford, Clemi Collett, University of Cambridge, Maria Axente; AI Programme Driver, PwC and Sarah Dillon. Download Video Recording

AI and Gender: Four Proposals for Future Research

AI and Gender: Four Proposals for Future Research This report outlines four of the weightiest challenges to gender equality presented by recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI). In tandem, it outlines four research proposals which would effectively tackle these issues. These four research proposals are the direct result of the ‘AI and Gender’ workshop held […]

BBC Radio 4 The Today Programme: AI Special

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: AI Special – broadcast 27 December 2017. Featuring CFI Researcher, Sarah Dillon (at 1.53.13 in) in which she countered media sensationalism with a message about the importance of analysing and diversifying popular narratives about AI if the technology is to provide a future we all want, rather than the one […]