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Professor David Runciman

Project Leader


David Runciman is Professor of Politics and currently Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at Cambridge.  He is joint-PI on two major research projects based in CRASSH: Conspiracy and Democracy and Technology and Democracy.  His books include Political Hypocrisy and The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis and he writes regularly about politics for the London Review of Books.  His inaugural lecture 'Political Theory and Real Politics in the Age of the Internet' can be viewed here.

His research strand for the CFI will focus on the possible implications of machine learning and artificial intelligence for democratic politics.  What will these changes mean for accountability, representation and collective identity?  Who will be responsible for what in a world where many decisions are franchised out to machines?  What role will be left for public opinion and electoral politics?  This research will also explore some of the historical parallels and in particular the comparison between AI and other forms of artificial decision-making.  Are robots so different from corporations, and if so, how?

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