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Shahar Avin

Network Member

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk


I am a postgraduate research associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, focusing on the role of technology (mainly digital technologies, including machine learning, and future technologies) in global catastrophic and existential risks. I am a co-lead author of The Malicious Use of AI: Forecasting, Prevention and Mitigation, a many-authored, cross-institution report exploring foreseeable security challenges from malicious applications of machine learning in the 5-10 year horizon. In my work, I use diverse tools in collaboration with others to explore future risk scenarios and propose prevention and mitigation strategies; these tools include expert workshops, agent-based models, and scenario role-plays. Those investigations help us understand where technology is and isn't trustworthy, where and how we should place (or refuse to place) our trust in it, and what steps we can take now to have more trustworthy technology in the future.

About us

The Trust & Technology Initiative brings together and drives forward interdisciplinary research from Cambridge and beyond to explore the dynamics of trust and distrust in relation to internet technologies, society and power; to better inform trustworthy design and governance of next generation tech at the research and development stage; and to promote informed, critical, and engaging voices supporting individuals, communities and institutions in light of technology’s increasing pervasiveness in societies.

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