Stephen Cave



Stephen Cave is Director of the Institute for Technology and Humanity, and of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, both at the University of Cambridge.

Stephen earned a PhD in philosophy from Cambridge. He then joined the British Foreign Office, where he served for nearly a decade as a policy advisor and diplomat before returning to writing and academia. He now holds the grade of Director of Research at the University of Cambridge (full professor equivalent).

His research is mostly in the philosophy and ethics of technology, with two strands. First, he writes about the ethics of AI and robotics. His publications on this include the co-edited volumes AI Narratives (Oxford University Press, 2020), Imagining AI (Oxford University Press, 2023), and Feminist AI (Oxford University Press, 2023).

Second, he writes about the ethics of life-extension and the philosophy of (im)mortality. His publications on this topic include Immortality (Crown, Penguin Random House, 2012), a New Scientist book of the year now available in many other languages, and Should You Choose To Live Forever? (with John Martin Fischer, Routledge, 2023).

His work has been covered in many hundreds of media outlets around the world, from The Atlantic to the Daily Mail. He has written on philosophical and scientific subjects for the Financial Times, Guardian, New York Times and others. He also regularly appears on television and radio, including the BBC and NPR.


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AI Will Always Love You

Cave, S., & Dihal, K. 2021. ‘AI Will Always Love You’, in Minding the Future: Contemporary Issues in Artificial Intelligence, ed. Dainton, B., Slocombe, W., & Tanyi, A. New York: Springer.

House of Lords Risk Assessment and Risk Planning Committee

House of Lords Risk Assessment and Risk Planning CommitteeWednesday 13 January 2021  Witness(es): Caroline Gorski, Group Director R2 Data Labs, Rolls Royce; John Thornhill, Innovation Editor, Financial Times; Dr Simon Beard, Academic Programme Manager and Senior Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge; Dr Stephen Cave, Executive Director, Leverhulme Centre […]

Always on my mind

Always on my mind, CAM Magazine, Issue 91, Features. 23 November 2020 – 14 minute read. Words: Megan Welford. Illustration: Tim Enthoven What does it really mean for computers to be smarter than humans? We explore the singularity. Adrian Weller, Stephen Cave, Kanta Dihal, Jess Whittlestone share their thoughts on AI ethics in this feature article from the […]

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 reflections in 2019

AI reflections in 2019: Alexander S. Rich, Cynthia Rudin, David M. P. Jacoby, Robin Freeman, Oliver R. Wearn, Henry Shevlin, Kanta Dihal, Seán S. ÓhÉigeartaigh, James Butcher, Marco Lippi, Przemyslaw Palka, Paolo Torroni, Shannon Wongvibulsin, Edmon Begoli, Gisbert Schneider, Stephen Cave, Mona Sloane, Emmanuel Moss, Iyad Rahwan, Ken Goldberg, David Howard, Luciano Floridi & Jack Stilgoe. Nature Machine Intelligence volume 2, pages 2–9 (2020). There is no shortage of opinions on the impact of artificial intelligence and deep learning. NMI invited authors […]


Stephen Cave

Desirable Digitalisation

Applying intersectional and anthropological perspectives to designing AI for just and sustainable futures.

Stephen Cave

The Atlas of Intelligences

We want to make cross-disciplinary research on the diversity of intelligences easier to navigate, by collecting and synthesising it in a single, accessible resource – an Atlas of Intelligences. Intelligence is found in a wide range of organisms and systems. We see it in everything from humans to hagfish, bacteria to bee colonies, and magpies […]

Stephen Cave

AI: Practice, People, Places

I believe that a  technical field such as AI can contribute a great deal to our understanding of human existence, but only once it develops a much more flexible and reflexive relation to its own language and to the experience of research and life that this language organizes.  Phil Agre, Towards a critical technical practice: […]

Stephen Cave

History of AI

The History of AI project examines the complex historical factors — social, political, technological and otherwise — that have shaped the development of intelligent systems during both the twentieth century and prior.

Stephen Cave

Gender and AI

The ‘Gender and AI’ research stream develops feminist and queer approaches to AI that are informed by critical race theory, postcolonial/decolonial theory, Asian American/Asian diaspora studies, crip theory, and areas of justice-oriented knowledge and work.