Universiteit Leiden

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Alexandra Prégent

PhD candidate

A.P. Prégent MA
+31 71 527 2727

In my interdisciplinary bachelor program (french literature and philosophy), I developed an awareness of the importance of the role of philosophical reflections and the influence these can have on the world and particularly, on the way societies are shaped. I became acquainted with the threat new technologies pose to some of our basic human rights and started to investigate the legitimacy of the use of affect recognition system in our society from a philosophical point of view. Even though my work focuses mainly on ethical issues raised by AI technologies, I still see the development of new technologies as an opportunity to restructure and rethink the normative framework of our world. That is, in fact, why I am so interested in finding ways to ensure that these new technologies contribute to improving our society and its challenges. Finding the ethical issues in new technologies is therefore a way to participate in this restructuration of society with the aim that it evolves into a new and improved version of itself. Philosophical reflection about technological developments, their relevance and deployment are crucial for understanding society and have been key issues in my work during my academic journey. I firmly believe that my current work on privacy rights in the context of the use of affect recognition systems will advance thinking on the meaning and value of privacy and provide the normative elements for a regulatory framework consistent with the new capabilities of AI technologies.

More information about Alexandra Prégent

Fields of interest

  • Ethics of AI (Facial and Affect recognition technology)
  • Philosophy of science
  • Moral and political philosophy


My research interests lie in the field of AI ethics. In my PhD research, I specialize in ethical and political issues around the use of affect recognition systems, more precisely, I focus on the possibility that the use of an affect recognition system poses a threat to our right to privacy. If able to do so, should technology have the right to identify, recognize, and collect data on our emotions, personality traits, and mental health? Do we not have the right to keep our inner states private in our daily lives? I examine these ethical and political issues in depth with the aim of arriving at a response that can inform and guide policy makers on future regulations towards affect recognition system as well as AI-driven technologies in general.

Curriculum vitae

Leiden University
• PhD candidate in philosophy (2021 - )

Laval University
• Master’s in philosophy with thesis, AI ethics (2021)

Montreal University
• Baccalaureat in philosophy and french literature (2019)

Grants and awards

My Master's thesis was funded by the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology (OBVIA) (2019-2020)

My PhD is funded by Canada' Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2021-2024)

Key publications

Alexandra Pregent & Keven Bisson (Winter 2021) “The Dividual Conception of Identity: A Possible Solution to Marusic's Grief Puzzle?” IN The Rationality of Emotions (Dir. Catherine Rioux), Phares, vol. 21.

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte

Work address

P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden
Room number 2.03


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