Bio

Dr Christopher Burr is an Ethics Fellow and a philosopher of cognitive science, specialising in the ethical design, development, use, and regulation of data-driven technologies. He is also interested in exploring and understanding how data-driven technologies affect our decision-making and social institutions (e.g. individual and societal health). 

He is the project lead for the Turing Commons—a platform, community, and repository of resources that are designed to build skills and capabilities across all areas of society (e.g. digital and data literacy). This includes resources on challenges such as ‘fair and equitable digital health’ or ‘responsible public engagement and participation in data science and AI’. 

Between 2021 and 2022 he was the Principal Investigator for the ‘Trustworthy Assurance of Digital Mental Healthcare’ project, funded by the UKRI’s Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub. The goal of this project was to develop a method for assuring ethical goals and claims associated with the design, development, deployment, and use of data-driven technologies in mental healthcare. 

Prior to starting at The Alan Turing Institute, he held postdoctoral research posts at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford (2018–19), working as part of the Data Ethics Lab, and the Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol (2017–18). He completed his PhD in Philosophy of Cognitive Science at the University of Bristol in 2017, funded by a European Research Council scholarship. 

He has previously advised and worked with organisations including the Office for Artificial Intelligence, Council of Europe, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Ada Lovelace Institute, Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, the Department of Health and Social Care, and has conducted interviews with media organisations including the Observer, New York Times, BBC, and Vox. 

A list of Christopher’s recent and upcoming lectures, talks, and public appearances can be found on his homepage.

Research interests

  • Trustworthy and ethical assurance (e.g. how do developers and regulators justify that data-driven technologies uphold ethical standards).
  • Equitable digital mental health and well-being (e.g. how should we design and use digital technologies to promote and support our mental health and well-being in a fair and transparent manner)
  • Digital literacy and public engagement (e.g. developing skills and training resources that build capabilities across all areas of society)
  • Cognitive science (e.g. how to understand the risks of intelligent systems influencing and shaping human judgement and choice behaviour).

Achievements and awards

  • Funding from UKRI TAS Hub for research project on ‘Trustworthy Assurance of Digital Mental Healthcare Technologies’ 
  • Funding from ASG programme to support development of Turing Commons 
  • ERC-funded PhD scholarship