Brief Bio

If you need a brief summary and photograph

Mary-Anne Williams is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Magic Lab at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and Fellow at Stanford University. She has a PhD in Computer Science, a Master in Law.s, listed on Robohub's top 25 women in robotics.  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 Computer Science, Autonomous Decision Making, Machine Learning, Ethics, IP Law, Privacy Law, Strategic Management, Disruptive Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

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

Director, Disruptive Innovation

in the Office of the Provost and Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor

Associate Dean Research UTS 2010 - 2014

Visiting Professor, Copenhagen Business School, 2005 - 2006

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.


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


Australian Research Council

2009 - 2010

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

Visiting Professor, Artificial Intelligence Lab, Computer Science, Stanford University. 2009 - 2010 and 2018

Review Editor

Editorial Board Artificial Intelligence Journal

The leading journal in AI

2007 - 2016.

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

Before taking up a position at the University 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, fearlessness, grit and resilience.


  • Harvard Cybersecurity Program, Harvard University 2017.
  • Oxford FinTech Program, University of Oxford, 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 in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, University of Sydney 
  • 1995 - Best Dissertation Award from Computer Science Association, now CORE.
  • 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 in Mathematics and Chemistry 1983

Interviews and Commentary

Robots will fundamentally and profoundly change business and society.

Other media conversations.

soon to be listed here....