Joanna Bryson

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Joanna Bryson
Joanna Bryson at the World Economic Forum.jpg
Bryson speaks at the World Economic Forum "Global Conversation on Artificial Intelligence" in 2018
Alma materMIT
EmployerUniversity of Bath
Known forArtificial Intelligence

Joanna Bryson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath. She works on Artificial Intelligence, ethics and collaborative cognition. She has been a British citizen since 2007.


Bryson attended Glenbard North High School and graduated in 1982.[1] She studied Behavioural Science at the University of Chicago, graduating with an AB in 1986.[2] In 1991 she moved to the University of Edinburgh where she completed an MSc in Artificial Intelligence before an MPhil in Psychology.[3] Bryson moved to MIT to complete her PhD, earning a doctorate in 2001 for her thesis " Intelligence by Design: Principles of Modularity and Coordination for Engineering Complex Adaptive Agents".[4] In 1995 she worked for LEGO as an AI consultant, researching child-oriented programming techniques for the product that became LEGO Mindstorms.[5][failed verification] She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Primate Cognitive Neuroscience at the Harvard University in 2002.[6]


She joined the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath in 2002.[7] At Bath, Bryson founded the Intelligent Systems research group.[8][9] In 2007 she joined the University of Nottingham as a Visiting Research Fellow in the Methods and Data Institute.[10] During this time, she was a Hans Przibram Fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition.[10] She joined Oxford University as a Visiting Research Fellow in 2010, working with Harvey Whitehouse on the impact of religion on societies.[10][11]

In 2010 Bryson published Robots Should Be Slaves, which selected as a chapter in Yorick Wilks' "Close Engagements with Artificial Companions: Key Social, Psychological, Ethical and Design Issues".[12][13] She helped the EPSRC to define the Principles of Robotics in 2010.[14] In 2015 she was a Visiting Academic at the University of Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy, where she still remains as an affiliate.[15] She is focussed on "Standardizing Ethical Design for Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems".[16]

Bryson's research has appeared in Science and on Reddit.[17][18] She has consulted The Red Cross on autonomous weapons and contributed to an All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence.[19]

In 2017 she won an Outstanding Achievement award from Cognition X.[20] She regularly appears in national media, talking about human-robot relationships and the ethics of AI.[21][22]


  1. ^ "Joanna Bryson University of Bath". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  2. ^ "Joanna Bryson | Conscious Cities". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  3. ^ "'Containing the intelligence explosion: the role of transparency' by Dr Joanna Bryson | Events". Oxford Martin School. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  4. ^ "Intelligence by design : principles of modularity and coordination for engineering complex adaptive agents". MIT PhD Thesis. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  5. ^ "RE•WORK | Joanna Bryson". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  6. ^ "Understanding Primate Intelligence through Modelling". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  7. ^ "Some J J Bryson biographies". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  8. ^ "Joanna Bryson - O'Reilly Media". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  9. ^ "Contacts | Department of Computer Science | University of Bath". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  10. ^ a b c "Joanna J. BRYSON - European Forum Alpbach". European Forum Alpbach. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  11. ^ "The Evolution of Social Complexity | School of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  12. ^ "Episode #24 - Bryson on Why Robots Should Be Slaves". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  13. ^ Close engagements with artificial companions : key social, psychological, ethical and design issues. Wilks, Yorick, 1939-. Amsterdamn: John Benjamins Pub. Co. 2010. ISBN 9027249946. OCLC 642206106.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ "Principles of robotics - EPSRC website". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  15. ^ "Biased bots: Artificial-intelligence systems echo human prejudices". Princeton University. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  16. ^ Bryson, J.; Winfield, A. (May 2017). "Standardizing Ethical Design for Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems". Computer. 50 (5): 116–119. doi:10.1109/mc.2017.154. ISSN 0018-9162.
  17. ^ "Science AMA Series: I'm Joanna Bryson, a Professor in Artificial (and Natural) Intelligence. I am being consulted by several governments on AI ethics, particularly on the obligations of AI developers towards AI and society. I'd love to talk – AMA! • r/science". reddit. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  18. ^ Caliskan, Aylin; Bryson, Joanna J.; Narayanan, Arvind (2017-04-14). "Semantics derived automatically from language corpora contain human-like biases". Science. 356 (6334): 183–186. arXiv:1608.07187. doi:10.1126/science.aal4230. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 28408601.
  19. ^ "Professor Joanna Bryson - APPG". APPG. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  20. ^ "Joanna Bryson wins AI ethics award | University of Bath". Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  21. ^ Sample, Ian; Chambers, Iain (2016-07-01). "Do we want robots to be like humans? - podcast". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  22. ^ Bryson, Joanna (2017-09-28). "The real project of AI ethics". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 2018-01-24.