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Madeleine Clare Elish

Research Lead

Data & Society Research Institute

New York


Artificial Intelligence Cybersecurity Information Technology Military Policy Privacy Research

Madeleine Clare Elish is a cultural anthropologist whose work examines the social impacts of AI and automation on society. She leads the Intelligence & Autonomy Initiative at Data & Society, a non-profit research institute in New York focused on the cultural dimensions of data-driven technology. Her work aims to reframe debates about the rise of AI and reposition the value of human intelligence in the design and evaluation of AI-driven systems. Her work has investigated how AI affects understandings of values and ethical norms and how professional work lives change in response. She has conducted field work across varied industries and communities, ranging from the Air Force, civilian drone regulation, and commercial aviation to precision agriculture and emergency clinical care. Her research has been published and cited in scholarly journals as well as publications including the New York Times, Slate, Vice, and USA Today. She holds a PhD from Columbia University and an S.M. from MIT.

Keywords: AI, automation, machine learning, anthropology, sociology, robots, drones, labor