our team

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics at Duke University in the Philosophy Department, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Duke Institute for Brain Science, and the Law School. He publishes widely in ethics, moral psychology and neuroscience, philosophy of law, epistemology, informal logic, and philosophy of religion.

Jana Schaich Borg is an Assistant Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute and Affiliate Faculty member with the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. Schaich Borg uses neuroscience, computational modeling, and emerging technologies to study how we make social decisions that influence, or that are influenced by, other people. She uses a variety of neuroscience and data science techniques to pursue her interdisciplinary reserach.

Lok Chan is a Post-doctoral Associate in the Social Science Research Institute and the Department of Population Health Science. Lok is interested in the intersection between artifical intelligence, data science, and philosophy of science. He wrote his dissertation on the role of abductive reasoning in the context of Bayesian statistical thinking.

Duncan McElfresh is a PhD student in Applied Mathematics (AMSC) at the University of Maryland, and is advised by John P. Dickerson. His research focuses on both practical and theoretical applications of AI, to solve problems with societal and ethical implications. He has studied a variety of application areas, including kidney exchange, public health communication, and homelessness assistance.

Kenzie Doyle is the manager for the Moral AI lab and a post-baccalaureate research associate in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. She graduated from Grinnell College in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology. Her interests include physiological affective science, the digital humanities, and personality psychology.

Caspar Oesterheld is a first-year computer science Ph.D. student, advised by Vincent Conitzer. His interests lie at the intersection of game and decision theory, artificial intelligence and theoretical computer science.

Siyuan Yin is a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt. Prior to visiting at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke, she received her Doctor in Medicine and worked on the cognitive mechanisms of human judgment and decision-making with probabilistic and dynamic models. She is primarily interested in decision making under risk and uncertainty, social choice theory, game theory, neuroeconomics, and multi-attribute moral judgment, and tries to find structures underlying these processes with mathematical and economic approaches.

Scott Emmons is an undergraduate student majoring in mathematics and computer science. He has studied algorithms in network science and robotics, and he is interested in the algorithmic and ethical questions of aligning machine intelligence with human values.


Anika Mukherji is an undergraduate junior at Duke. She is studying Computer Science and Neuroscience - pursuing a major called "Minds and Machines". She is one of the lead web developers and is a part of the kidney exchange study.


Nikhil Ravi is an undergraduate sophomore studying Computer Science and Mathematics. His main research interests lie in Deep Learning and Computer Vision.


Eitan Sapiro-Gheiler is currently an undergraduate at Princeton University, majoring in economics and minoring in applied math. With the Moral AI group, he helped design and implement the Skype version of the trust game and running the game with actual participants. In addition, he (alongside Kenzie) was the primary point of contact for participants and collected the first batch of in-person data as well as preliminary data analysis for both the Skype and online trust games.


Weiyao Wang is an undergraduate at Duke majoring in mathematics and computer science and minoring in political science. He is interested in the intersection of machine learning, artificial intelligence and social needs. His research in the group focuses on theory and fairness in machine learning.

Vincent Conitzer is a Kimberly J. Jenkins University Professor of New Technologies and Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. He received the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, the main AI award for a researcher under 35, as well as a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

John Dickerson is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. He develops practical approaches to solving economic problems using techniques from stochastic optimization and machine learning. He is an NSF CAREER recipient, Facebook Fellow, and Siebel Scholar.

Joshua August Skorburg is Postdoctoral Associate in Philosophy. His research is in moral psychology and applied ethics. He is teaching an ethics course for Duke's new Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science program.

Abbas Zaidi is finishing his PhD at the Department of Statistical Science at Duke University. His research is focused on the development of Bayesian methods for causal inference. He is currently working on understanding causal relationships in economic trust game data using advanced machine learning techniques.

Gayan Seneviratna is a first year Master’s student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) program at the Pratt School of Engineering. He is currently working on turning data from the trust game videos into measures of synchrony. He also makes the occasional software widget for the team.

Joy Becker is an alum of Grinnell College with a B.A. in Biology. As part of a long meandering journey towards finding a career path, she happens to find herself collecting data for the Trust Game. Her current interests include neuroscience, bioinformatics, and pestering her two cats.

Emre Kiziltug is an undergraduate senior at Duke majoring in Computer Science and Economics and minoring in Biology. He is interested in ML applications in medicine an involved with the kidney exchange project.

Cassi Carley is in law school to pursue a career in tech law and policy, following her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Duke. Currently, she is exploring ethical tech as a fellow at the Duke Center on Law & Technology and through participation in the Bass Connections Moral AI and Adaptive Regulations groups. Her thesis work is in computer vision and AI, exploring the classification of activities that involve patterns of hand motion and manipulation. Cassi graduated from Duke in 2011 with a B.S. in Public Policy and Computer Science.

Yuan Deng is currently a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Computer Science at Duke University, advised by Vincent Conitzer. He is broadly interested in theoretical computer science, especially algorithmic game theory and machine learning.


Rachel Freedman graduated from Duke University in 2017 with an interdepartmental undergraduate degree in "Artificial Intelligence Systems". She’s interested in effective altruism and AI safety, and co-founded an existential risk student society during her year abroad at Oxford. She completed her undergraduate thesis on kidney exchanges with the Moral AI group, supervised by Dr. Vince Conitzer, and looks forward to pursuing further research in artificial intelligence.


Max Kramer is currently a Ph. D. student in philosophy at the University of Arizona. He led a project on folk appraisal of AI systems making moral and consequential decisions in a variety of contexts. He found that their preferences were largely a function of prior exposure to computerized systems making these kinds of decisions and in light of this finding, we developed a series of interventions that were aimed at encouraging the folk to have a greater preference for AI decision-makers in a kidney exchange context in order to both better characterize what was at work in forming these preferences and also to attempt to synthesize these preference-guiding facts, beliefs, or dispositions.


Sarah Cogan is a junior from New York majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Philosophy. As a co-president of Duke's effective altruism chapter "EA: Duke," Sarah grew interested in artificial intelligence after learning about AI safety concerns prevalent in the effective altruism community. Sarah is eager to work with this Bass Connections team to combine her two interests in computer science and ethics.