Ethics & Policy Researcher (Partnership on AI)


DeepMind is the world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact. We’re on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how.

If we’re successful, we believe this will be one of the most important and widely beneficial scientific advances ever made, increasing our capacity to understand the mysteries of the universe and to tackle some of our most pressing real-world challenges. From climate change to the need for radically improved healthcare, too many problems suffer from painfully slow progress, their complexity overwhelming our ability to find solutions. With AI as a multiplier for human ingenuity, those solutions will come into reach. As in all long-term research efforts there are many hurdles ahead, but our team of renowned scientists and engineers is making exciting progress.

The progress we’ve made is in part down to our approach, which combines the long-term thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration of academia, the energy and focus of a technology start-up, and the social purpose of a team fervent about amazing impact. We've created a unique environment within which long-term ambitious research can flourish. Our world-class interdisciplinary team combines the best techniques from deep learning, reinforcement learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms.

We also believe it’s critical that we build new models of open collaboration and accountability around it. That’s why we at DeepMind have worked with other organisations, to form a new non-profit group - the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society - that aims to create a forum for open discussion around the benefits and challenges of developing and applying cutting edge AI. Together, we hope to advance public understanding of AI and formulate best practices on some of the most important and challenging ethical issues in the field. As co-Chair of one of the initial Working Groups tasked with formulating best practices, we will play a key role in driving forward  research and consensus-building to help the Partnership deliver impact on today’s most pressing topics.

Ethics & Policy Researcher:

We are looking for highly talented and driven individuals who want to be part of our Ethics & Society Research Unit,  which is tasked with exploring the real-world impacts of AI, helping technologists put ethics into practice, and helping society to anticipate and control the effects of AI. Ensuring that our work supports DeepMind’s mission to “solve intelligence and use it to help make the world a better place” requires giving attention to the full range of social and economic impacts of AI, so that we can innovate on responsible stewardship, alongside our advances in AI science and engineering.

As we seek to expand our expertise, deepen our knowledge, and grow our external engagement on this issues, we need an experienced Policy Researcher to carry out research on a wide range of social and economic impacts of AI, and ensure we are bringing the best organisations to enable impactful collaboration. In particular, this role will have a focus on our role as a member of the Partnership on AI and ensuring we support the multi-stakeholder, collaborative process enabled through that organisation.

This will require synthesising existing research from a wide range of disciplines including philosophy, science, policy, ethics, law, and economics, drawing on the expertise of the rest of the DeepMind team and beyond. We also anticipate the need for original insight that not only pulls together trends across disciplines, but situates those trends alongside groundbreaking developments and technical achievements in AI.

Our Policy Researcher will be responsible for turning these insights into briefings, analyses, recommendations, and crucially also for drawing up plans and mobilising a broad range of stakeholders to collaborate in addressing issues identified. The Policy Researcher will support the Co-Leads and the team by building relationships across other organisations, particularly those in the Partnership on AI, to enable us to make the most of our collaborations with others.

The role requires experience working with or in academic institutions, think tanks, civil society or related organisations. A strong background is welcome in emerging technology policy or related disciplines.


  • Research, report, and monitor quantitative and qualitative research on emerging technology policy, with a particular focus on artificial intelligence and the implications on fairness, accountability, transparency, and explainability
  • Create insightful and compelling briefings, research papers, and case studies of best practices to an excellent written standard for internal and external stakeholders
  • Support the coordination of the Partnership’s Working Group to ensure engagement and alignment from multiple senior stakeholders
  • Build and maintain excellent, trust-based relationships with key stakeholders in our Partner organisations to enable effective collaboration
  • Proactively identify areas of opportunity and improvement, including further research; work with the team and external stakeholders to make them a reality
  • Recommend ambitious, forward-thinking policy positions to DeepMind Ethics & Society Team
  • Support our work to build a strong network of interdisciplinary experts through events, briefings, panel discussions, and conferences.


  • Excellent grasp of technology policy and its implications on society
  • Ability to quickly assimilate complex issues across multiple areas, including technical and regulatory issues, and distill and communicate them effectively in a timely manner
  • Ability to anticipate the needs of internal and external senior stakeholders and ensure effective use of their time
  • Experience in managing complex stakeholder situations, building relationships and working collaboratively to get the best from individuals and groups
  • Strategic thinker with ability to plan ahead, influence and ensure buy-in and alignment of multiple parties from a broad array of backgrounds to ensure on time delivery of agreed-upon outputs
  • Team player with the ability to exercise good judgement in a rapidly changing and ambiguous environment
  • Excellent communicator with the ability to influence various audiences, in person and in writing
  • Extraordinary work ethic and drive to achieve
  • Powerful intellectual curiosity that keeps the candidate ahead on substantive topics and challenges in the principal areas of focus.
  • Masters degree or above
  • Willingness to travel


  • Experience in an academic institution, think tank, or similar
  • Experience with applied technologies in ethically important societal industries
  • Experience with researching the implications of emerging technologies
  • Knowledge of and interest in sectors vital to artificial intelligence policy
  • Experience in investigating and publishing emerging technology policy strategy or similar relevant material
  • Science or Technology Policy Fellowship

Competitive salary applies.

Opening Date: 27th March, 2018

Closing Date: 24th April, 2018

DeepMind welcomes applications from all sections of society.  We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of of race, religion or belief, ethnic or national origin, disability, age, citizenship, marital, domestic or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other basis as protected by applicable law.  If you have a disability or additional need that requires accommodation, please do not hesitate to let us know.

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