Brittany Smith

Policy Director at Data & Society Research Institute

Policy Director, Data & Society
Policy Fellow Alumna, Centre for Science and Policy

Brittany Smith is Data & Society’s policy director. Previously, she spent 10 years at Alphabet. Most recently, she worked at DeepMind where she led partnerships and public engagement on AI policy, human rights, and racial justice. Prior to joining DeepMind, she worked on Google’s public policy and government affairs strategy teams in San Francisco and London, supporting Google’s work across EMEA against online extremism and hate speech, as well as working on child safety & privacy issues. She grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from Northwestern. She currently lives in London after moving there a few years ago to study gender and public policy at the London School of Economics.

Brittany worked in DeepMind’s Ethics & Impact team, where she focuses on policy engagement around social effects and ethical challenges surrounding the emerging technology of artificial intelligence.

She earned her MSc in women's studies and public policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where her dissertation concerned feminist legal theory and the rise of revenge porn laws in the US. Her personal and professional interests lie at the intersection of Internet policy and rights advocacy. Brittany previously worked at Google as part of its public policy and government affairs strategy team in London. She supported Google’s work across Europe, Middle East, Africa & Russia on policy issues related to controversial content, including extremism and hate speech legislative trends, and counter-speech efforts with NGOs and civil society groups from around the region.

While at DeepMind, Brittany wass working for the world's leading organisation in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact. DeepMind are on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how. If successful, this may be one of the most important and widely beneficial scientific advances ever made, increasing our capacity to understand the mysteries of the universe and to tackle some of our most pressing real-world challenges. From climate change to the need for radically improved healthcare, too many problems suffer from painfully slow progress, their complexity overwhelming our ability to find solutions. With AI as a multiplier for human ingenuity, those solutions will come into reach. As in all long-term research efforts there are many hurdles ahead, but the DeepMind team of renowned scientists and engineers is making exciting progress. The progress made is in part down to an approach which combines the long-term thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration of academia, the energy and focus of a technology start-up, and the social purpose of a team fervent about amazing impact. DeepMind have created a unique environment within which long-term ambitious research can flourish. the world-class interdisciplinary team combines the best techniques from deep learning, reinforcement learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms.

The Ethics & Impact team's responsibilities are to:

  • Manage government relations outreach concerning artificial intelligence policy issues
  • Research, report, and monitor quantitative and qualitative research on emerging technology policy, with a focus on artificial intelligence
  • Carry out rigorous engagement around the social effects and ethical challenges surrounding the emerging technology of artificial intelligence
  • Recommend ambitious, forward-thinking policy positions
  • Build a strong network of interdisciplinary experts through events, briefings, panel discussions, and conferences
  • In news articles

    Artificial intelligence: what are the potential policy considerations?

    Dr Stephen Cave, Executive Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, delivered a talk to CSaP Policy Fellows and a group of early-career researchers on how artificial intelligence had the potential to improve autonomy and provide intelligence.