Dr John Zerilli is a philosopher with particular interests in cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and the law. He is currently a Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Oxford and an Associate Fellow at the Centre for the Future of Intelligence in the University of Cambridge.

Dr Zerilli was the recipient of a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholarship to undertake the Cambridge LL.M. (2008), wrote the highest-ranking thesis of his year at Cambridge (2009), and won the Lucy Firth Prize (valued at $1000) for best publication in philosophy at Sydney University (2010). He was called to the Sydney bar in 2011.

Dr Zerilli has published numerous articles, canvassing law, political economy, philosophy, and cognitive science, and three books, of which the two most recent are The Adaptable Mind (Oxford University Press, 2020) and A Citizen's Guide to Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press, 2021). His published work appears in such journals as Philosophy of ScienceSynthese, and Philosophical Psychology.

He tweets at @JohnZerilli.


Ph.D. (A.N.U.) (2017)
M.A. (Syd.) (2011)
LL.M. (Camb.) (2009)


Recent additions

Book (2)

Journal Article (8)

Internet Publication (1)

Chapter (2)

J Zerilli and A Weller, 'Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Technical considerations ' in M Hervey and M Lavy (eds), The law of artificial intelligence (Thomson Reuters/Sweet & Maxwell 2020)

Report (1)

Research Interests

Research themes

Dr Zerilli's research incorporates insights from cognitive science, philosophy and law in addressing a range of philosophical questions, primarily those concerned with the moral and political dimensions of the use of advanced articifical intelligence and machine learning systems. His research spans philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of mind, jurisprudence and political philosophy.

Research project

Dr Zerilli's Leverhulme-funded research project aims to provide an in-depth examination of the legal, philosophical and cognitive dimensions of the delegation of statutory discretion to algorithms. Its objectives are to (1) examine the impact of algorithms in the public sector, (2) analyse the legality of their adoption by government, and (3) elaborate a framework for how to manage the dangers of automation bias and complacency in the delivery of public services in the UK.

Research projects