Research Associate Position: Four Year Project Investigating the Use of Algorithms in the Criminal Justice System

by | Mar 27, 2019

Professor Karen Yeung, based at the University of Birmingham’s Law School and School of Computer Science, is currently seeking to recruit a Research Fellow to work on an exciting, innovative and cutting-edge project at the forefront of technological developments, entitled ‘Deciding about, by and together with algorithmic decision making systems (‘the Project’)’.

Working with Principal Investigators (‘PIs’) from four disciplines (including law, political science, computer science and neuropsychology) funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung’s ‘AI and Society’ programme, the overall Project will critically investigate algorithmic decision-making (ADM) systems in the criminal justice system, consisting of five intersecting disciplinary perspectives and projects.  Together, these projects seek to highlight the context-dependency of decision-making, which is, at present, poorly addressed in ADM systems. By drawing on the criminal justice system as a real and important ‘high stakes’ case study already in use, it will seek to identify and develop general guidelines that can assist in determining the conditions under which humans should make decisions, when and how they could be supported by machines, and when machines alone are best suited to make decisions.  These findings will provide the foundation for identifying principles to inform how best to distribute decision-making authority between humans and machines more generally. Karen Yeung’s project  will critically investigate the use of ADM systems from the perspective of the fundamental legal principles upon which the criminal justice system is based, including respect for fundamental rights, and how those principles should inform and constrain decisions about the treatment of those suspected, accused, or convicted of criminal wrongdoing.

The Research Fellow will work on Professor Yeung’s project, and will also collaborate with the other European Project PIs and their Research Fellows on common projects to which all five PIs and their Research Fellows will contribute, and will also collaborate on interdisciplinary projects between Prof Yeung and those undertaken by two of the other PIs and their Research Fellows. Over the life of the Project, each of the interdisciplinary projects are associated with a “shared desk phase” in which the Research Fellows will work together at the same place for a few weeks to ensure that they integrate their disciplinary methods and approaches and have opportunities for deep discussion of their shared project.

Information about the post is available here.

More information about the project is available here.


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