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Jonathan Erskine

PhD Student, Interactive AI, University of Bristol

An aerospace engineer who, after a few years in the UK defence industry, has gone on to study Interactive AI at the University of Bristol.

Starting out with a relatively traditional education in aerospace engineering, it was only in the late stages of my degree that I had my first tangible experience of software engineering, computer vision and control systems, developing a growing passion for the development of “smart” machines. In industry, I have worked for a small medical start-up and then on missiles and weapon systems, dealing primarily with the present and future challenges of the air domain across integration and control, concept development and user requirements management.

Over the four years I have spent working as an engineer, I have observed an increasingly present dialogue about the power and potential of “AI” paired with an ignorance about the underlying fundamental principles and limitations. I have joined the Interactive AI CDT so that I can help inform and shape the discussion around AI as we continue to expand the scope of applications available to us, dispelling common myths and ensuring we are putting our best foot forward.

Reflecting on my experience in the Future Systems sector of defence, I believe it is important to answer the “why” as much as the “how” - what we should do is as important as what we can do, and I hope to contribute to both areas over the course of my research by focusing on ethical frameworks as much as the technical challenges.


  • –present
    PhD Student, Interactive AI, University of Bristol


  • 2018 
    Queen's University Belfast, First Class Honours Masters of Engineering / Aerospace Engineering