Annette Zimmermann

Annette Zimmermann

Dr, DPhil, MPhil, BA

Former affiliation

Personal profile


Annette Zimmermann is a political philosopher working on the ethics and politics of AI and machine learning.

During 2020-21, Dr Zimmermann is a Technology & Human Rights Fellow at Harvard University.

Before joining the University of York's Department of Philosophy, Dr Zimmermann was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University (2018-2020), with a double appointment at the Center for Human Values and the Center for Information Technology Policy. Prior to that, Dr Zimmermann was awarded a DPhil from Nuffield College at the University of Oxford, for work focusing on contemporary analytic political and moral philosophy—in particular, democratic decision-making, justice, and risk. Dr Zimmermann's recent research visitor positions include Yale University (2016), the Australian National University (2019) and at Stanford University (2020).

Research interests


Beyond the philosophy of AI, Dr Zimmermann's research interest include contemporary political philosophy, moral philosophy (especially the ethics of risk and uncertainty), the philosophy of law (punishment and the philosophy of criminal law, as well as constitutional law and discrimination law), and the philosophy of science (models, explanation, abstraction).

Current research project:
The Algorithmic is Political

AI does not exist in a moral and political vacuum. Technological models interact dynamically with the social world, including larger-scale patterns of injustice. How we deal with this problem is a moral and political choice. Dr Zimmermann's current research explores questions like: what is algorithmic injustice, and how do its effects compound over time? What role do risk and uncertainty play in this context? What does it mean to trust AI? Whose voices should we prioritize in collective decisions about AI design and deployment—and whose voices are currently excluded? Whose rights are most at risk? How can we place AI under meaningful democratic control—and would that solve the problem of algorithmic injustice?

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, DPhil (Political Philosophy), Nuffield College, University of Oxford

Award Date: 13 Aug 2018

External positions

Technology & Human Rights Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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