Brief Bio

If you need a brief summary and photograph

Mary-Anne Williams is a Distinguished Professor and Director of Disruptive Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and listed on Robohub's top 25 women in robotics. She has a PhD in Computer Science and a Masters in Law. Mary-Anne is a Fellow at the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and is a leading authority on AI and Social Robotics with transdisciplinary strengths in Robotics, Autonomous Decision Making, Machine Learning, Ethics, IP Law, Privacy Law, Strategic Management, Distruptive Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is Founder and Director of the Magic Lab at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Fellow at Stanford University

Mary-Anne chaired the Australian Research Council's Excellence in Research for Australia Committee that undertook a national evaluation of research in Mathematics, Information and Computing Sciences in 2012. She is a non-executive director of the US-based Scientific Foundation KR Inc, was Conference Chair of the International Conference on Social Robotics in 2014, and serves on the Editorial Board for AAAI/MIT Press, the Information Systems Journal, Artificial Intelligence Journal, International Journal of Social Robotics and the ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award Committee for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics.

Mary-Anne has a passion for innovation in science, technology, engineering and law. She established and continues to lead Australia's leading Social Robotics research group, which includes Steve Wozniak, Peter Gardenfors and Henri Prade. The research objective of this group is to bring science fiction to reality through the design of intelligent autonomous technologies that can learn and adapt as they interact and work with people.

Awards and Recognition

Previous Positions

Associate Dean Research UTS 2010 - 2013

Consultant, Australian Research Council, 2009 - 2010

Chairperson, Program Chair and Rep at Large for Knowledge and Innovation in the Strategic Management Society.

Chair, Mathematics, Information and Computing Sciences, ERA, Australian Research Council 2011-2013

College of Experts, Mathematics, Information and Computing Sciences, Australian Research Council, 2006 - 2009

At the University of Newcastle, 1990 - 2002 I was Head of Information Systems; Assistant Dean Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Busienss and Law; Assistant Dean Research in the Faculty of Business and Law.

Visiting Professor, Artificial Intelligence Lab, Computer Science, Stanford University. 2009 - 2010

Visiting Professor, Copenhagen Business School, 2005 - 2006

Before taking up a position at the Univeristy of Newcastle I worked at Kent State University, the University of Sydney and MLC Insurance.



Explainable AI, Belief revision, knowledge representation, reasoning, decision making, machine learning and predictive data analytics



Social robots are a disruptive innovation that will have a profound impact on society and will transform the global economy.

Human-robot interaction must be legal, safe and enjoyable.


Innovation requires insight and fearlessness.


  • Harvard Cybersecurity Program, Harvard University 2017.
  • Company Directors Course, Australian Institute of Company Directors 2016-2017
  • Stanford University Innovation Fellow Design Thinking Studio, Stanford University, 2017
  • Stanford Executive Program, Stanford University 2014
  • Master of Laws, LL.M., Innovation, Law and Technology, University of Edinburgh, 2008
  • Senior Certified Professional, Finance and Treasury Association (FTA), 2006
  • PhD University of Sydney 1994 - Best Dissertation Award
  • Thesis Title: Transmutations of Knowledge Systems
  • MSc (by Research) in Computer Science, 1991
  • Thesis Title: Dynamics of Nonmonotonic Reasoning
  • Grad Dip Computing Science 1985
  • Thesis Title: Information Visualisation
  • BSc 1983

Interviews and Commentary

Robots will fundamentally and profoundly change business and society.

Other media conversations.

soon to be listed here....