The Partnership on AI (PAI) is excited to announce Peter Eckersley as our inaugural Director of Research. Peter will lead the Partnership’s research practice on topics associated with PAI’s mission, including on best practices for the ethics, safety, fairness, inclusiveness, trust, and robustness for AI research, applications, and services. His work will focus both on projects directed and executed by PAI and in external collaboration with PAI’s membership and other stakeholders.
Peter’s AI research interests are broad, and include prior work on measuring progress in the AI ecosystem, figuring out how to translate ethical and safety concerns into mathematical constraints, and setting sound policies around high-stakes machine learning applications such as self-driving vehicles, recidivism prediction, cybersecurity, and military uses of AI.
Prior to joining PAI, Peter was Chief Computer Scientist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where he led a team of technologists that launched numerous computer security and privacy projects, including Let’s Encrypt and Certbot; Panopticlick; HTTPS Everywhere; the SSL Observatory; and Privacy Badger. In addition to these projects, Peter and his team also worked on diverse Internet policy issues including campaigning to preserve open wireless networks; fighting to keep modern computing platforms open; helping to start the campaign against the SOPA/PIPA Internet blacklist legislation; and running the first controlled tests to confirm that Comcast was using forged reset packets to interfere with P2P protocols.
Peter holds a PhD in computer science and law from the University of Melbourne; his doctoral research focused on the practicality and desirability of using alternative compensation systems to pay authors and artists for their work, while legalizing P2P file sharing and similar distribution tools.
Peter currently serves on the board of the Internet Security Research Group and the Advisory Council of the Open Technology Fund; he is an Affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and a Distinguished Technology Fellow at EFF. He has also served as a board member of the US branch of the Center for Effective Altruism, and as an advisor the 3D microscopy startup 3scan.