Research Age-Appropriate AI for Children at Oxford University
I am an experienced academic researcher working on the interaction of human and AI systems.
My current research focuses on investigating the impact of algorithmic systems on our everyday lives, especially for families and young children. For this, I take a human-centred approach, using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, to understand and design for users' needs and values.
Currently, I lead the Oxford Child-Centred AI (OxCCAI) Design Lab. We explore a range of research challenges related to:
Designing responsible AI technologies for children
Unpacking the impact of AI on children
Facilitating the development of more informed child-specific AI regulatory frameworks.
My research is funded by the KOALA project (EPSRC IAA/Oxford University COVID Rebuild) and the Ethical Web and Data Infrastructure project (Oxford Martin School). I work closely with children, families, innovators, and policymakers to understand the technological, societal, and regulatory challenges that we are facing, to inform national and international policymakers, technology designers, and families.
I have been part of the IEEE P2089 Age Appropriate Digital Services Framework Working Group and the CDEI Online Safety Data Initiative Expert Group. I was included in the 100 Brilliant Women in AI and Ethics global initiative 2019-20, for promoting diversity and equality in this critical research area.
I regularly contributes to UK policy discussions in this space and offer consultancy for NGOs, government agencies and start-ups, promoting children's digital rights and designing for children. If you are interested to get in touch please email: jun.zhao[at]cs.ox.ac.uk.
I have been very privileged to work with many talented young researchers (see current and past students) and be supported by colleagues in Oxford HCC (see HCC page).
If you are interested to learn more about applying for D.Phil (PhD) in Oxford, please see the studentships page for further details. Should you consider applying for a doctoral position in our group, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Jun'23: Excited to be on the RigthCon'23 panel with Rys et al for our work with young people from 4 countries to understand their trust perception of digital technologies
Jun'23: Wrapping up a successful 4-week long AI+Ethics workshops for children
May'23: Best paper award for our work on "Before and after China’s new data laws: privacy in apps" at ConPro ’23 [pdf]
May'23: Kicking off our 4-week long AI+Ethics workshops for children (link)
Apr'23: Two papers accepted by CSCW'23 and IMWUT'23 for our work with app developers for children (link)
Apr'23: A great first Child-Centred AI workshop in Hamburg at CHI'23 (link)
Apr'23: Best paper and honourable mention for CHI'23 (link)
Mar'23: Excited to talk about Age-appropriate AI for children at the Upper Norwood Library Hub in South London (link)
Feb'23: Excited to see our work with young people from 4 countries appearing at IEEE Technology & Society (link)
Feb'23: KOALA featured at the Oxford University Short Stories (link)
Jan'23: We start the new year 2023 with Three papers accepted by CHI'2023, covering co-designing new recommender systems with children, a systematic review of digital autonomy for children, and a novel study with gig workers
Dec'22: Excited to see that my book chapter outlining a new data governance for education data in the UK appears in the DFC Book Collection Education Data Futures (link) [pdf]
Dec'22: Proud to see our research on children and datafication [pdf] won double awards @ CSCW'22 (link)
Sep'22: Very pleased to see my DPhil @GeTiffanyWang received the Honorable Mention Award from the UK @DoctoralAwards, based on her work on informing Age-Appropriate AI
Jul'22: Pleased to see our blog on demystifying parental control apps is now published by @digitalchildau [link]
Jun'22: Present the design journey of KOALA at IDC'22 [link]
Jun'22: Talk about the journey of Oxford CCAI at Oxford Computer Science Conference [link]
Jun'22: Submitted our contribution to UK Online Safety Bill call for evidence [link]
May'22: Our paper on "Don't make assumptions about me!': Understanding Children's Perception of Datafication Online" has been accepted by CSCW'22 [link]
May'22: Pleased to see the joint report with TdH on Child safety by design against online sexual exploitation of children
Mar'22: Our paper on "Informing Age-Appropriate AI: Examining Principles and Practices of AI for Children" has been accepted at CHI'22 (video) and received an honourable mention!
Feb'22: Official launch of the IEEE 2089-2021 Standard for Age Appropriate Digital Service Framework [PDF] (see my blog post)
Support children's self autonomy in the age of AI
Investigate new frameworks for assessing age-appropriateness of AI algorithms
Research new respectful AI system design patterns for children
`Treat me as your friend, not a number in your database': Co-designing with Children to Cope with Datafication Online. CHI'2023 [BEST PAPER][pdf]
12 Ways to Empower: Designing for Children's Digital Autonomy. CHI'2023 [HONOURABLE MENTION][pdf]
'Don't make assumptions about me!': Understanding Children's Perception of Datafication Online. CSCW'2022 [HONOURABLE MENTION][IMPACT RECOGNITION] [pdf][bibtex]
Informing Age−Appropriate AI: Examining Principles and Practices of AI for Children. CHI'2022 [HONOURABLE MENTION][pdf][bibtex]
"Money makes the world go around": identifying barriers to better privacy in children’s apps from developers’ perspectives. CHI'2020 [video] [pdf] [bibtex]
Assess the current market support for parents and identify critical design gaps
Implement new tools to empower parents with new challenges arising from the use of AI in children's life
Collect empirical evidence regarding parents' needs in the age of AI
Convey critical research evidences to policymakers and industrial innovators, to create a better, more respectful and inclusive AI society for all
Navigating the Data Avalanche: Towards Supporting Developers in Developing Privacy-Friendly Children’s Apps”. In Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT). [To appear]
How Should We Support Designing Privacy-Friendly Apps for Children? Using a Research through Design Process to Understand Developers' Needs and Challenges. CSCW'23 [pdf]
"Protection or Punishment?"Relating the Design Space of Parental Control Apps and Perceptions About Them to Support Parenting for Online Safety" CSCW'2021 [pdf]
Data Autonomy: Ensure individuals can control, manage, maintain and use personal data
Data Privacy: Enable AI training to be decentralised, enable data to be processed locally, in a way that maintains user privacy, prevents subversion of the results whilst still extracting wider collective value.
Accountability: Develop methods to assess whether AI or algorithmic decision making is fair, equitable and complies with regulatory requirements, and seek ways to promote a right to explanation of the internal decision-making process of algorithms.
Data Sharing: Explore new institutional and legal constructs within which to hold data or algorithmic outputs.
‘You are you and the app. There’s nobody else.’: Building Worker-Designed Data Institutions within Platform Hegemony. CHI'2023. [To appear]
Investigate children's(under 11) privacy mental model
Assess impact of data tracking on children's digital well-being
Explore responsible age-appropriate design for children
KOALA Hero: Inform Children of Privacy Risks of Mobile Apps. IDC'2022 [pdf]
I make up a silly name’: Understanding children’s perception of privacy risks online. CHI'2019 [pdf] [bibtex]