Jason Millar Awarded Canada Research Chair in the Ethical Engineering of Robotics and AI

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019

Dr. Jason Millar, a Faculty member of the Centre, has been awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in the Ethical Engineering of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Situated in the Faculty of Engineering, this unique SSHRC-funded Chair will enable Dr. Millar to further develop his interdisciplinary research bringing ethics and policy considerations to bear on the engineering of emerging robotics and AI.


Dr. Jason Millar is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Engineering’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  With the Canada Research Chair in the Ethical Engineering of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Dr. Millar will use his interdisciplinary background in engineering and philosophy to address three research objectives. First, he and his interdisciplinary research team will investigate emerging ethical issues in robotics and AI to better understand the ethical landscape and inform engineering and policy decision-making. Second, they will engage engineers in the research of practical, ethically-informed engineering design practices. Finally, Dr. Millar and his team will research ethically-aligned policy that supports the innovation of robotics and AI.

The worldwide robotics and AI market is estimated to grow to $230B by 2022, and Canada is investing heavily in these technologies. There is an urgent need for research that will significantly contribute to Canada’s thought leadership on the ethical engineering of robotics and AI. The Canada Research Chairs Program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.


Dr. Millar worked for several years as an engineer before turning his full-time attention to issues in philosophy and applied ethics. He has authored book chapters, policy reports, and articles on the ethics and governance of robotics and AI. He recently co-authored a discussion paper as one of Canada’s contributions to the 2018 G7 meeting on AI in Montreal. He has provided expert testimony at a United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Meeting and the Senate of Canada on the ethics of military robotics, and consults internationally on policy, and ethical engineering issues in emerging autonomous vehicle technology. His work is regularly featured in the media, including articles in publications such as WIRED and The Guardian, and interviews with the BBC, CBC and NPR. Dr. Millar authored a chapter on ethics settings for autonomous vehicles in Robot Ethics 2.0 (OUP), co-authored a chapter on metaphors in technology governance for the Oxford Handbook on the Law and Regulation of Technology (OUP), and has a forthcoming chapter on social failure modes in AI (and other technology) in the upcoming Oxford Handbook on Ethics of AI (OUP).


Dr. Millar unique CRC will reinforce the leadership of the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society on research on the new socio-technological realities and technology law, ethics and policy.

Congratulations to Dr. Millar on this prestigious and well-deserved achievement!


Back to top