Three Postdoctoral Associates in Philosophy Focus on AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies pose new opportunities and challenges across many domains of our lives. Philosophers are uniquely equipped to address the underlying assumptions and potential conflicts that arise from integrating these technologies with important societal values such as justice, privacy, and trust.

As part of a newly developed interdisciplinary initiative on the ethical and societal impact of AI, members of Western’s Department of Philosophy and Rotman Institute of Philosophy are collaborating with members of the faculties of Information & Media Studies, Science, Medicine & Dentistry, Health Sciences, and Law to explore questions surrounding the development and use of these technologies.

This initiative has the Department of Philosophy and Rotman Institute of Philosophy hiring three postdoctoral associates for the next academic year who work in AI ethics. Learn about the unique academic backgrounds and research interests of these young scholars:

Man with arms crossed black tee shirtBartek Chomanski joined the Rotman Institute of Philosophy in the fall of 2019 after completing his PhD at the University of Miami. His research interests cover the intersection of AI ethics, law, and policy. He has written on AI and technological unemployment, liability for autonomous artificial agents, and the ethical and policy issues in creating human-level AI. He is currently working on a number of topics related to AI governance and regulation. In 2020, Bartek developed and co-taught interdisciplinary courses on AI at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He also launched a successful Rotman reading group on AI that has brought together faculty from a range of departments and faculties across our campus. Funding for Bartek’s postdoc comes from the Faculties of Science and Engineering and the Rotman Institute.

Woman smiling outdoorsMahi Hardalupas has primary interests in the philosophy and ethics of AI, broadly construed. Her current research in AI ethics involves drawing on feminist philosophy to criticize the use of AI for medical diagnosis and prognosis, assessing the harms of how scientists describe the capacities of AI systems, and evaluating issues at the intersection of research ethics and AI in medicine. She also has ongoing projects in general philosophy of science and philosophy of neuroscience. Mahi will complete her PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh just before arriving at Western this spring. Funding for her postdoc comes from the Faculties of Science and Engineering and the Rotman Institute.

Man smiling in collared shirtMichael Randall Barnes received his PhD from Georgetown University in 2019, where his dissertation was on the topic of subordinating speech. Before that he completed an MA at Carleton University, where he focused on labour exploitation. It is from this background that he approaches issues in AI ethics, addressing topics such as online hate speech, automation, and ‘ghost work.’ This includes evaluating the role of AI and algorithms in shaping these problems in general, and in particular examining the situation of the undervalued human content moderators who clean up what AI cannot yet accurately detect. Funding for Mike’s postdoc, which begins this July, comes from the Rotman Institute and grants held by Rotman members, Jacquie Burkell (FIMS) and Luke Stark (FIMS).