Centre for Technomoral Futures

Our People

Centre for Technomoral Futures

Our People

Our People

Our People

Professor Shannon Vallor

Director, Centre for Technomoral Futures
  • Email: ctf@ed.ac.uk

The Centre is led by Director Shannon Vallor, the Baillie Gifford Chair in Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence at the Edinburgh Futures Institute. In addition to her role at EFI, she holds an appointment in the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Philosophy and chairs the University’s AI and Data Ethics Advisory Board.

More about Professor Vallor's research
Professor Vallor’s research explores how new technologies, especially AI, robotics, and data-driven algorithms, reshape our moral character: the habits, skills and virtues that allow us to live wisely and well with others. She is the author of the book Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting (Oxford University Press, 2016) and the forthcoming Lessons from the AI Mirror: Rebuilding Our Humanity in an Age of Machine Thinking.

Her work includes advising policymakers and industry on the ethical design and use of AI and other data-driven innovations; she is currently the Chair of Scotland’s Data Delivery Group and a member of Scotland’s National Expert Group on Digital Ethics. Additionally, she is an advocate for the fuller integration of practical ethics in engineering and computer science education; she currently serves on the steering committee of the British Computer Society’s academic accreditation review and the steering committee of ACM/AAAI’s annual AI Ethics and Society Conference.

Her professional honours include the 2015 World Technology Award in Ethics and the 2015 Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence at Santa Clara University.

Iwona Soppa

Baillie Gifford Data & AI Ethics Programme Support Administrator
  • Email: ctf@ed.ac.uk

Iwona joins the Centre for Technomoral Futures with a background in academic administration. She received her Honours degree in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Edinburgh and has interests in programming and website design.

Our Students

Innovative Baillie Gifford PhD studentships in the Ethics of Data and AI, supervised by multi-disciplinary teams across the University:

Denisea Kennedy-Fernandez

Denisea’s PhD research project is Sex Robots Among Us: Ethical and Feminist Issues, co-supervised by experts in the sociology of gender and technology and philosophy and ethics of technology.

Denisea received her MA in Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and a Bachelor’s degree from University College Tilburg in Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a focus on Law and Humanities. She has been an active advocate for women’s and minorities’ rights, chairing a non-profit student organization for social entrepreneurship, presenting on gender and social justice issues, and volunteering at local community centres.  She is interested in building upon her previous Masters research to explore the social and cultural attitudes regarding women that inform current sex robot designs, as well as their broader ethical implications.


Savina Kim

Savina’s PhD research project is Fair and Ethical Credit Decisions, co-supervised in the Business School and the School of Informatics.

Savina will receive in July 2020 her MSc degree in Neural Systems and Computation from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich’s Institute of Neuro-Informatics; previously she was awarded a multidisciplinary Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Cognitive Science from Yale University. She has finance experience as an investment banking analyst and in business development, and a keen interest in the intersection of machine learning (ML) explainability and interpretability, fairness and algorithmic bias, human-computer interaction and financial systems. In particular, Savina seeks to explore ethical application of machine learning tools to pressing societal problems, including expansion of credit access to underserved groups.

Joe Noteboom

Joe’s PhD research project is The University of Data: Ethical and Social Futures of Data-Driven Education, co-supervised in the School of Social and Political Science and the Moray House School of Education and Sport.

Joe was awarded an MA with Distinction in Higher and Professional Education at the University College London and prior to this, studied Political Science, Integrated Liberal Studies and European Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Joe’s most recent education work in professional services roles sparked his interest in the ethical and policy implications of university datafication, students’ experiences and role as key stakeholders, and the use of AI for teaching and learning.


Aditya Singh

Aditya’s PhD research project is A Data Ethics Framework for Agriculture, co-supervised in the Roslin Institute’s Global Academies by experts in international law and mathematical modelling as related to food security and the global food system.

Aditya will receive the Advanced LL.M (Law and Digital Technologies) degree from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and previously received a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Law (B.A. LL.B) with Honours from the National Law School of India in Bangalore. Aditya has worked on research initiatives and contributed to publications on a range of AI, data protection and free speech issues in India. His current focus is on privacy, ethics, and data governance. In his doctoral research, Aditya is interested in extending data commons theory as an ethical framework for agricultural data, and in its broader implications for responses to the ethical challenges of climate change, automation and global inequality.

Marc Sabaté-Vidales

Marc’s PhD research project, co-funded by the Baillie Gifford gift and The Alan Turing Institute, is supervised in the School of Mathematics, where he is developing deep learning techniques for finance applications satisfying robustness, stability and verification of the algorithms used in this context.

Marc Sabaté-Vidales was awarded the MSc in Applied Mathematics at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, where he also received a BA degree in Mathematics. Marc has previously worked as Application Consultant and Developer in Data Science, Innovation Consultant and Data Analyst. Marc’s research interests include deep learning, reinforcement learning, scholastic control, and machine learning.


Jamie Webb

Jamie’s PhD research project is AI and Ethical Decision-Making in a Resource-Limited Health Care Environment, co-supervised in the Usher Institute and the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society.

Jamie joins the Institute from his position as a Research Associate in the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone’s Department of Population Health. Prior to that he earned an MA in Bioethics at NYU as a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar. He gained his undergraduate degree at Pembroke College, Cambridge, receiving a BA in Philosophy and an MSci in History and Philosophy of Science. Jamie is interested in the relationship between data and ethical frameworks for health resource allocation, and the possibilities for deliberative democratic decision making regarding the role of AI in health systems.

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