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David Leslie

Ethics and Responsible Innovation Research Unit, Alan Turing Institute, London, U.K.
Published onNov 18, 2020
David Leslie


David Leslie is the Director of Ethics and Responsible Innovation Research at The Alan Turing Institute and Professor of Ethics, Technology and Society at Queen Mary University of London. He previously taught at Princeton’s University Center for Human Values, Yale’s programme in Ethics, Politics and Economics and at Harvard’s Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, where he received over a dozen teaching awards including the 2014 Stanley Hoffman Prize for Teaching Excellence. David is the author of the UK Government’s official guidance on the responsible design and implementation of AI systems in the public sector, Understanding artificial intelligence ethics and safety (2019) and a principal co-author of Explaining decisions made with AI (2020), a co-badged guidance on AI explainability published by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office and The Alan Turing Institute. After serving as an elected member of the Bureau of the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) (2021-2022), he was appointed, in 2022, as Specialist Advisor to the CoE’s Committee on AI where he has led the writing of the zero draft of its Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Impact Assessment for AI, which will accompany its forthcoming AI Convention. He also serves on UNESCO’s High-Level Expert Group steering the implementation of its Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. David recent publications include ‘The Ethics of Computational Social Science’, (2023) written for the European Commission Joint Research Centre/Centre for Advanced Studies, ‘Artificial intelligence and the heritage of democratic equity’ (2022) published by The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, the HDSR articles “Tackling COVID-19 through responsible AI innovation: Five steps in the right direction” (2020) and “The arc of the data scientific universe” (2021) as well as Understanding bias in facial recognition technologies (2020), an explainer published to support a BBC investigative journalism piece that won the 2021 Royal Statistical Society Award for Excellence in Investigative Journalism.

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