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11 Dec 2019

Sir Nigel Shadbolt launched the new Institute for Ethics in AI at Oxford, a dedicated research institute to the interdisciplinary study of ethics challenges introduced by emerging AI technologies.

He is tasked with overseeing the development of the new research centre, that aims to tackle the fundamental challenges of the 21st century.

The Schwarzman Centre was made possible by a generous donation from Stephen A. Schwarzman to the University of Oxford.

The new research institute is expected to open in 2024, adjacent to the current Mathematical Institute.

We look forward to working with the Institute, and helping shape its research agenda around human centred systems and AI.

01 Dec 2019

HCC DPhil student Ulrik Lyngs has been awarded the EPSRC Doctoral Prize, providing additional funding to continue his work on challenges of self-control in relation to digital device use.

The purpose of the Doctoral Prize scheme is to

help retain the best students receiving EPSRC funding in research careers to develop them beyond the end of the PhD to help launch a succesful career in research, and to increase the impact of the PhD in terms of publications, KT [Knowledge Transfer] and outreach.

Under the Doctoral Prize, Ulrik will

  • Continue dissemination of his DPhil work (including at the CHI 2020 conference),
  • Expand collaborations with other research groups (including Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, and Google’s Digital Wellbeing team), and
  • Continue collaboration with Oxford University’s Counselling Service on the Reducing Digital Distraction workshops, which provide practical guidance for students who struggle to manage their relationship with digital devices such as smartphones and laptops.
by: Ge (Tiffany) Wang
Jun Zhao

28 Nov 2019

How shall we better protect children online? And what do Chinese parents think about their children’s online safety? To answer these questions, a new report presented findings from an online survey of 593 Chinese parents with children aged 6-10: While Chinese parents showed some level of privacy concerns, their primary concerns were still around inappropriate content and screen time. Online short-video platforms (e.g. TikTok) played an important role in Chinese young children’s daily life, however, many of these apps are not always appropriate for children’s age.

As the generation growing up at the frontier of IoT, children’s daily activities are constantly shifting from ’offline’ to ’online’. Both the amount of information, and the value of them has been continuously increasing, and there has been a growing risk of children’s privacy being compromised or improperly exploited . China is now home to 169 million Internet users under the age of 18, with 89.5% of children under 13s have been reported to have access to the Internet. While mobile phones are still the major way for teenagers going online (92%), tablets (37.4%) and smart TVs (46.7%) are among the devices most frequently used and have been used more by teenagers than the other age groups,. Alongside with the rapid increase in online adoption of Chinese children, there have been growing concerns. For those under 18s, 30.3% have had exposure to inappropriate contents and 15.6% had experienced online bullying. However, those privacy-related risks have not been looked at or discussed.

26 Nov 2019

On the 27th of October, researchers from the Human Centred Computing team were at the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival, talking to members of the public about privacy, security, and digital wellbeing.

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As well as answering questions about how people use technology, the group solicited feedback from families about how happy they were with their use of technology. Responses included hopes and fears around everything from overuse of smartphones and managing passwords, to more futuristic questions about robots in the home.