HMC Speaker Bios

Please note: This will be a truly hybrid workshop. When we have confirmed how a given speaker will be attending, we’ll indicate this in brackets after their name. If there are no brackets after their name they have not yet confirmed how they’ll participate in the workshop.

Alexandra Zafiroglu

Alexandra Zafiroglu [virtual] is a Professor of Cybernetics at the School of Cybernetics at the Australian National University and a Fellow of the ANU Futures scheme. After completing her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Brown University in 2004, Alex commenced a diverse career at Intel Corporation. During her 15 years at Intel, Alex made significant contributions to the R&D and commercial development of technology across the Advanced Research, Digital Home and Internet of Things divisions, being listed as co-inventor on 11 patents. In 2016, Alex was appointed Principal Engineer in Social Science within the Internet of Things Division and was Intel’s foremost domain expert and research practitioner in homes and home life. Alex has also authored multiple publications, presented at academic, regional and industry conferences and is a member of the American Anthropological Association and the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Community. Currently, she is interested in the role that social scientists play in exercising ethics, accountability, and data rights in the deployment of commercial cyber-physical systems.

Anna Ma-Wyatt [virtual] is a professor at University of Adelaide and a co-director of IRL Crossing, a French Australian laboratory for human-autonomous agents teaming. She explores how human visual information is used to plan and execute interactive movements, while also researching on visual field loss and applied problems in vision. Before joining University of Adelaide, she worked as a Rachel C. Atkinson Fellow at Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute and a research associate at University of Western Australia. She completed her doctorate at Macquarie University.

Guy Hoffman

Guy Hoffman [in person] is an Associate Professor and the Mills Family Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Prior to that he was an Assistant Professor at IDC Herzliya and co-director of the IDC Media Innovation Lab. Hoffman heads the Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship (HRC²) group, studying the algorithms, interaction patterns, and designs enabling the co-existence of people and robots in the workplace and at home. Among others, Hoffman developed the world’s first human-robot joint theater performance, and the first real-time improvising human-robot Jazz duet. His research papers won several top academic awards, including Best Paper awards in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. In both 2010 and 2012, he was selected as one of Israel’s most promising researchers under forty. His TEDx talk is one of the most viewed online talks on robotics, watched more than 3 million times. Hoffman holds a Ph.D from MIT in the field of human-robot interaction and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from Tel Aviv University as part of the Adi Lautman interdisciplinary excellence scholarship program.

Primavera De Filippi

Primavera De Filippi [most likely virtual] is a Director of Research at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute. Her research focuses on the legal challenges and opportunities of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, with specific focus on governance and trust.  As an artist, she produces mechanical algorithms that instantiate her legal research into the physical world, such as the Plantoid project (

Ken Goldberg

Ken Goldberg [virtual] (Fellow) is William S. Floyd Distinguished Chair of Engineering at UC Berkeley and Chief Scientist of Ambi Robotics.  Ken leads research in robotics and automation: grasping, manipulation, and learning for applications in warehouses, industry, homes, agriculture, and robot-assisted surgery.  He is Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley, with appointments in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Art Practice, the School of Information and UCSF Radiation Oncology.  Ken is Chair of the Berkeley AI Research Lab (60 faculty) and Director of the CITRIS “People and Robots” Initiative (75 faculty across 4 UC campuses).  He is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE).  He has published over 300 refereed papers, ten US patents, and was recognized as NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow (PECASE 1995), the Joseph Engelberger Award (2000), the IEEE Major Educational Innovation Award (2001), and IEEE Fellow in 2005.

Ryan Hoque

Ryan Hoque [virtual] is a third year PhD student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences department at the University of California, Berkeley advised by Prof. Ken Goldberg. His work is focused on the intersection of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, specifically on the development of algorithms for interactive learning and execution, where control is shared intelligently between learning robots and their human supervisors. Ryan earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, during which he worked on algorithms for robotic manipulation of deformable objects. Webpage:

Myriam Merad

Myriam Merad [in person] serves as Research Director/Professor at CNRS – UMR LAMSADE (Dauphine University). She leads research in Risk, resilience and sustainability governance and Decisions in safety, security and Health and Environment. Myriam is primarily interested in the link between Science and Decision and mainly in expertise framing, regulatory and policy analysis and participative/deliberative decision analysis.

For more information: and

Nicolas Paget [in person] is a researcher at CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, working on the uses of digital tools to support agroecology.

Zena Assaad

Zena Assaad [virtual] is a senior research fellow within the School of Engineering at the Australian National University (ANU). She currently holds a fellowship position under the ethics uplift program with trusted autonomous systems, exploring human-machine teaming. She also co-produces and co-hosts the Algorithmic Futures podcast series. She previously studied a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and completed a PhD exploring decision making under uncertainty to support strategic air traffic flow management

William Lawless

William Lawless [virtual] is a Professor of Mathematics and Psychology at Paine College. His current research focuses on autonomous human-machine teams. He is the lead editor of seven published books on artificial intelligence, was the lead organiser of a 6-article special issue on “human-machine teams and explainable AI” by AI Magazine in 2019, was co-editor for the Naval Research & Development Enterprise (NRDE) Applied Artificial Intelligence Summit in San Diego in 2018, and has served as the lead organizer of twelve AAAI symposia at Stanford. He has authored or co-authored over 85 articles and book chapters and over 175 peer-reviewed proceedings. William is a Professional Engineer (Mechanical & Nuclear Waste Management Engineer), is on the Office of Naval Research’s two Advisory Boards for the Science of Artificial Intelligence and Command Decision Making, and has previously served as a member of the European Trustnet Hazardous Decisions group.

Keoni Mahelona

Keoni Mahelona [virtual] is the Chief Technology Officer at Te Hiku Media and a leading practitioner of indigenous data sovereignty. Originally from Anahola on the island of Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi, Keoni has been living and working in Te Hiku o Te Ika for over 10 years having first arrived in Aotearoa as a Fulbright Scholar. As a driving force behind the development of digital innovation projects that seek to secure the future of te reo Māori and other indigenous languages, Keoni makes decisions every day to protect the sovereignty of Māori data, from the digital tools deployed for advance projects to the storage of data and sharing data in appropriate and secure ways. 

Dylan Cawthorne

Dylan Cawthorne [in person] is an Associate Professor at the Unmanned Aerial Systems Center at the University of Southern Denmark.  His aim is to support human flourishing through the development of ethically informed technologies.  His main area of research is using value sensitive design methods and ethical principles to develop and build prototype drones for humanitarian, public healthcare, and search and rescue operations.  He works across disciplines, utilizing art, craft, and creativity to enhance engineering practice.  A common theme in Dylan’s work is the use of holistic and contextually situated technological development.  He considers himself an activist engineer, and in his free time he teaches and performs repairs with the local nonprofit organization Repair Café Odense, and volunteers with Engineers Without Borders Denmark to develop low-cost cloth masks and mapping drones for use in Africa.

Jurriaan van Diggelen [in person] is a senior research scientist at the department Human-Machine Teaming at TNO in Soesterberg. He has studied Cognitive Artificial Intelligence at Utrecht University and has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Multi-agent systems. He is program leader of the defense research program Human-machine teaming focusing on making humans collaborate with AI systems as teammates. Furthermore, he leads the ELSA lab consortium which aims to assure Ethical, Legal, and Societal aspects of military Artificial Intelligence. He is chair of several NATO groups on meaningful human control of AI-based systems.

Caitlin Bentley

Caitlin Bentley [in person] is a Lecturer in AI Education at King’s College London. She is a member of the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Hub Syllabus Lab, the A+ Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms network, and Women Reclaiming AI. In 2021, she was elected to the Council of the UK Cybernetics Society, and was later inaugurated as Secretary. She has held prior academic positions at the University of Sheffield, the 3A Institute, Australian National University and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Caitlin’s research has predominately engaged with questions around how technology systems can be designed and implemented in ways that promote social inclusion, empowerment and democratic participation. 

Fred S. Roberts

Fred S. Roberts [virtual] is a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University and Director of the Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA), a US Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence (COE). For 16 years he directed DIMACS, the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, which was founded as one of the original US National Science Foundation Science and Technology Centers.  Roberts is author of four books, editor of 25 other books, and author of 200 scientific articles. His recent edited books include the first book on maritime cyber security in 2017, a 2019 book on “Mathematics of Planet Earth,” and a 2021 book on “Resilience in the Digital Age.” His research deals with such topics as meaningfulness in measurement, mathematical social sciences, applications of graph theory, and homeland security, and he has been a leader in the world-wide effort called Mathematics of Planet Earth. Among his awards are the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Centers Pioneer Award and the award of Docteur Honoris Causa by the University of Paris-Dauphine. You can find out more about Fred here.

Alexis Tsoukiás

Alexis Tsoukiás [in person] is a research director at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in the Laboratorie d’Analyse et de Modélisation de Systèmes d’Aide á la Décision (LAMSADE), located at the Université Paris Dauphine. He holds a PhD in Computer Science and Systems Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino and is the author of two books, editor of several books and special issues, and has published more than 90 journal articles. He has a long-standing interest in algorithmic decision theory and was responsible for introducing the concept of policy analytics to the academic world. He has also actively involved in applying his research to real-world problems. You can find out more about Alexis here and here.

Delia Pembrey

Delia Pembrey [in person] is a lead researcher in the Technology and Digital Programmes Group at Services Australia. Delia has over 30 years’ experience in IT, organisation and behavioural science, and learning technologies, in the U.K., Europe and Australia. She is on the Board of Trustees for the American Society for Cybernetics and the International Society for the Systems Sciences (and was President 2020-21). Her specialties are in systems thinking/science and cybernetics, and understanding the world from the perspective of Artificial Intelligence. This perspective can better inform the systemic impacts of AI implementation and unpack risks (including ethics, responsible design, innovation, and implementation).

BEL Staff Photoshoot Semester 2 2020

Dr Simon McKenzie [in-person] is a Lecturer at Griffith University Law School in Queensland, Australia. His research brings doctrinal rigour together with an engagement with legal theory and more critical perspectives of international law. He is interested in exploring doctrinal dilemmas that reveal the underlying structures or values of the legal regime, and thinking about whether these can be supported or resisted. This has included considering the legal challenges connected with the defence and security applications of science and technology, as well as broader research and teaching interests in related domestic legal regimes. Simon is also an Honorary Fellow in the Law and the Future of War research group at the University of Queensland. This group investigates the diverse ways in which law constrains, enables or ignores technological change in the context of national and global security. The group focuses particularly on the legal challenges posed by autonomous functions of military platforms, systems and weapons. He is the author of Disputed Territories and International Criminal Law (Routledge, 2020) and received his PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2018.

Myrna Kennedy

Myrna Kennedy [in person] is a first-year PhD candidate at the Australian National University (ANU) School of Cybernetics. She recently completed her Master in Applied Cybernetics (2021 Masters Cohort). In addition, she also holds a Masters of Commerce degree with a specialisation in Business Analytics from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB), Indonesia, where she grew up. Myrna has been working in one of the Australian big four banks (financial services industry) for the past 15 years. She is currently a Senior Analyst in the bank’s Data Analytics and Decision Science team. She’s interested in exploring the intersection and relationship between technology, humans and the environment, especially from the sustainability perspective in the financial services (banking) system, using AI-powered technology safely, responsibly and sustainably to create a brighter future for all.

Jakob Schöffer

Jakob Schöffer [in person] is a PhD student at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. He is interested in problems that arise when humans and AI systems interact. Most recently, he has been conducting behavioral studies to assess how explainability techniques impact (i) people’s fairness perceptions, (ii) their reliance on AI recommendations, and (iii) distributive fairness in human-AI decision-making setups.

Wanheng Hu

Wanheng Hu [in person] is a Ph.D. candidate in Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University and a visiting research fellow in the Science, Technology & Society Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. His dissertation project examines the use of machine learning (ML) algorithms to cope with expert tasks, with an empirical focus on the development, application, and regulation of ML systems for image-based medical diagnosis in China. The project has been supported by the National Science Foundation, China Times Cultural Foundation, and a Hu Shih Fellowship from Cornell University, among others. His research is broadly situated at the intersection of the sociology of expertise, medical sociology, critical data/algorithm studies, and development studies. Wanheng holds an M.Phil. in Philosophy of Science and Technology, a B.L. in Sociology, and a B.Sc. in Biomedical English, all from Peking University.

Lorenn Ruster

Lorenn Ruster [in person] is a PhD candidate at the ANU School of Cybernetics, where she is undertaking intervention research with AI startups, exploring leverage points that enable and thwart dignity-centred AI development. Before her doctoral studies, Lorenn spent a decade in consulting, most recently as a Director focused on Systems Change at PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Indigenous Consulting. She’s an Acumen Global Fellow where she spent a year working with a Ugandan Solar Energy company as their Marketing and Innovation Director. Lorenn is also an alumnus of Singularity University‘s Global Solutions Program where she prototyped high-tech hardware leveraging sensor technology for community-led landmine detection including attendance at StartupBootCamp High Tech Hardware XL in Eindhoven, Netherlands. In addition to her Master in Applied Cybernetics, she holds a Master of International Management specialising in social business where she studied social entrepreneurship at Copenhagen Business School and specialised in Business & Poverty at HEC Paris. She also holds a Bachelor of Science / Arts majoring in Chemistry, Psychology and French.

Dr Jocelyn Lippey, photographed at the Peter MacCallum Cancer center Melbourne 5/12/2018 Photo James Horan

Jocelyn Lippey [virtual] is a breast surgeon from Melbourne, Victoria working at St. Vincent’s and BreastScreen as well as St. Vincent’s private hospital East Melbourne. She has a strong interest in qualitative researcher and is a CI on the BRAIx project – a $2.6 MRFF grant funded project to improve breast cancer screening in Australia using Artificial Intelligence. She was awarded an NBCF pracitioners fellowship and a Royal Australiasian College of Surgeons scholarship for her PhD, due to finish in 2024, to develope and test a risk communication tool for risk-stratified Breast screening. She also co-ordinates a unit of study for the University of Sydney’s Masters of Breast Surgery. Her research interests include DCIS, risk communication, tailored breast screening and patient reported outcome measures.

Talia Gillis

Talia Gillis [virtual] is an Associate Professor at Columbia Law School and an affiliate of Columbia University’s Data Science Institute. She studies the law and economics of consumer markets and is interested in household financial behavior and how consumer welfare is shaped by technological and legal changes. In her research she has studied the impact of regulatory tools such as financial disclosures and fiduciary duties on consumer welfare. She also empirically studies the way households manage their financial ebbs and flows and engage in mental accounting. Some of her recent work considers how artificial intelligence, and consumer fintech more broadly, is affecting consumers and raises distributional concerns. Talia has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a S.J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. 

Headshot - Elizabeth Williams
Dr Elizabeth Williams, 2021

Dr Elizabeth Williams is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Cybernetics at Australian National University (ANU). She completed her PhD in experimental nuclear structure at Yale University in December 2009, did postdoctoral work in fundamental and applied nuclear physics at Yale and CSIRO, and joined the ANU in 2012, where she held an ARC DECRA fellowship. She has created and used cyber-physical systems to carry out her research in nuclear science, and has always had a fascination with how complex systems come together in a human context.  Her passion for research impact and the responsibilities that researchers have to imagine the context in which their research will be used led her to the 3A Institute (now part of the School of Cybernetics), where she is currently working on establishing cybernetics as an essential tool for helping complex systems scale safely, responsibly and sustainably. She is the creator and co-host of the Algorithmic Futures Podcast, and the manager of the Algorithmic Futures Policy Lab.

Giorgia Lorenzini

With a background in Philosophy, Giorgia Lorenzini is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Basel, Switzerland. She studied at the Catholic University in Milan, Italy, where she specialized in Bioethics and Philosophy of Science. Her main research interests are the ethical implication of the latest technological innovations, especially in healthcare. She is currently part of the SNF-funded project “EXPLaiN” on the explainability and accountability of AI’s algorithms used in the management of health mobile data. Together with her Ph.D., Giorgia teaches part-time to children with special education needs.

Emma van Zoelen

Emma van Zoelen [in person] is a third year PhD student at Delft University of Technology, working on human-AI co-learning. She believes that in order for humans and artificially intelligent agents to live together symbiotically, they need tocollaborate as team partners. Using her background in Industrial Design and Artificial Intelligence, she approaches AI research from a human-centered and interaction-focused perspective, often focusing on the complex interactions that appear as a result of adaptive partners interacting with each other. Within her work she strives to design experiments that appreciate the creativity and diversity of interactions that people can engage in, supporting quantitative results with thorough qualitative evaluations.