Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa
B.Sc.E. (Engineering Physics), M.A. (Philosophy), Ph.D. (Philosophy)
Jason Millar is an engineer and philosopher who spends most of his time thinking about the design, ethics and governance of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, and also teaches the Ethics and Governance of Robotics and AI. Before returning to school full time to pursue degrees in Philosophy, Jason worked as an engineer, designing aerospace electronics manufacturing processes, airport terminals, and telecommunications hardware.
Jason is currently researching various ethics and governance issues in the design of robotics and AI (e.g. driverless cars, implantable medical devices, unmanned aerial vehicles, and social robots). He is developing philosophically grounded frameworks for use in ethically evaluating robotics and AI technologies in design and policy contexts.
Some of the questions that motivate his work include: What types of decision-making can we delegate to machines, and how does that decision impact our attributions of responsibility? What moral psychological concerns affect our ability to maintain meaningful human control over semi-autonomous weapons systems? How should we design automated ethical decision-making algorithms? To what extent, and in what contexts, can designers and engineers justify using anthropomorphism in the design of social robots?
Jason has authored and co-authored several academic articles and book chapters on the ethics and governance of robotics and AI. He was invited to the United Nations (Geneva) in 2015 to give expert testimony on the ethics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons. His work has appeared in popular publications such as WIRED and The Conversation (UK). It has also been featured in international media outlets such as the CBC, BBC, The Guardian, The National Post and NPR. Jason has also authored, and co-authored, technology policy reports for Health Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
During his studies, Jason also completed two clinical bioethics internships at the Kingston General Hospital, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. He served for three years on the Algonquin College Research Ethics Board during which time he updated the College’s policies on research ethics and science ethics to reflect changes in current Canadian ethics policy frameworks.