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Queen Mary appoints key role for its Digital Environment Research Institute

Queen Mary University of London has announced the appointment of Professor David Leslie as Professor of Ethics, Technology and Society at the University’s Digital Environment Research Institute (DERI).

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Professor Leslie will be instrumental to the Institute’s aims, driving multi-disciplinary research, forming new collaborations with Queen Mary researchers and external partners, and expanding DERI’s reputation in digital and data science. There will be no teaching requirements, with the appointment solely focused on exciting research projects and collaboration.

Professor Leslie is currently the Director of Ethics and Responsible Innovation Research at The Alan Turing Institute. His research looks at the moral and ethical implications of emerging technologies. He is highly respected in his field, authoring the UK Government’s official guidance on the responsible design and implementation of AI systems in the public sector.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Leslie said: “I am thrilled to be joining the vibrant interdisciplinary environment at DERI and to be able to contribute to its future as a global pacesetter in AI-centred research.

“I am also particularly inspired by the opportunity to advance the culture of equity, diversity, inclusivity, and community participation that is such an important part of both Queen Mary and The Alan Turing Institute.”

Professor Greg Slabaugh, Director of DERI and Professor of Computer Vision and AI at Queen Mary said: “We’re delighted David is joining as he brings an impressive track record of research on the ethical impacts of AI on individuals, organisations and society.

“I have no doubt he will be a huge asset as we conduct blue-sky research in digital and data science, and I look forward to working closely with him.”

Professor Leslie’s appointment strengthens the connection between Queen Mary and The Alan Turing Institute. The joint role will enable him to build synergies between DERI’s growing research community and the Turing's Public Policy Programme.

DERI is Queen Mary’s first University Research Institute and the home of cutting-edge AI research. It officially launched in March 2022 and is located on Queen Mary’s Whitechapel campus.

DERI is supporting wider ambitions to maintain UK leadership in data science and AI by creating and sharing knowledge that drives progress in digital and data science and its applications across a wide range of sectors.

The Institute builds on the globally recognised expertise at Queen Mary and helps to take on research challenges for society’s benefit. It fosters new collaborations between research leaders from across humanities and social sciences, medicine and dentistry, and science and engineering and develops existing partnerships with key organisations such as Barts NHS Trust and The Alan Turing Institute.

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