I'm Sophia Falk

Researcher PhD Student Resource Economist

About Me

I am a PhD student at the Bonn Sustainable AI Lab hosted at the Institute for Science and Ethics, Bonn University. My main areas of research are AI Ethics, Sustainability, and Resource Economics. Based on that my dissertation project focuses on an integrated approach to Sustainable artificial intelligence (AI), addressing socio-environmental justice issues. The project combines empirical findings on the Sustainability of AI with ethical awareness of responsibility for global issues related to AI from cradle to grave. Check out my research projects, and if you would like to work with me, contact me on linkedin!


AI Ethics

AI ethics is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the responsible development and implementation of artificial intelligence technologies. It addresses moral dilemmas and societal impacts associated with AI, such as fairness, accountability, transparency, and the welfare of humans. The aim of AI ethics is to create a framework that guides AI practitioners in making technologies that are beneficial, non-maleficent, and aligned with human values and rights.


Society is confronted with both a climate and an ecological crisis. To effectively tackle this crisis, it is essential to broaden the scope of concern to include more than just CO2 emissions. While digitalization and AI are believed to have significant potential in addressing these issues, there are doubts about the sustainability of AI applications themselves. Hence, assessing the environmental impact of these systems, from both the hardware and software perspectives, is considered critical.

Resource Economics

Resource economics is a branch of economics that deals with the supply, demand, and allocation of natural resources. It examines how economic principles affect the extraction, production, use, and management of resources such as minerals, forests, water, and land. The field also analyzes the consequences of resource use on the economy, environment, and society, considering factors such as sustainability, conservation, and the efficient utilization of resources to meet both current and future human needs.


A few highlights of my academic career

Invited Speaker @ the 9th Annual Public Policy Conference

I was invited to speak at the 9th Annual Public Policy Conference (APPC) "Green and Digital: Managing the Twin Transition toward Sustainable Development", organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. My talk on the topic "AI in Agriculture: Exploring the Promises and Perils of an AI-Enabled Green Transformation in the Philippines" will soon be available as conference proceeding.

Publication "Challenging AI for Sustainability: What ought it mean?"

The paper argues that the terms "Sustainable artificial intelligence (AI)" in general and "AI for Sustainability" in particular are overused to the extent that they have lost their meaning. The paper aims to create a common understanding of what the "AI for Sustainability" movement ought to mean by applying the necessary and sufficient conditions. Furthermore, it is questioned how effective the use of AI applications can be for sustainability when the creation and use of the systems themselves are inherently unsustainable. Concluding that Sustainable AI research can be on a gradient: AI in an application domain, AI towards sustainability, and AI for Sustainability.

Panel Discussion @ Desirable AI Conference Cambridge

In the panel discussion "Exposing AI as a World Object Through Interdisciplinarity: The Case of Sustainable AI", the panel participants presented and discussed how they conceive interdisciplinarity in regard to the relation between sustainability and AI. Each of the four participants work from within a specific research setting, namely healthcare, philosophy, environmental sciences, and political sciences. The talk and more details can be found here.

PhD Candidate Bonn Sustainable AI Lab

In June 2022, I joined the Bonn Sustainable AI Lab (Institute for Science and Ethics) as a PhD cadidate. My dissertation project combines empirical findings on the Sustainability of artificial intelligence (AI) with ethical awareness of responsibility for global issues related to AI from cradle to grave. Hence, the local environmental, health, and social impacts of mining activities in resource-rich countries and e-waste sites are of particular interest to my research.

MSc. Environmental and Resource Economy

The Master of Sciene degree from Kiel University(2022) provided me with in-depth knowledge in microeconomic and statistical-econometric methods. The programme covers the impact of environmental policy instruments, monetary valuation of environmental damage, intertemporal resource management, sustainability economics and climate policy.

B.A. International Cultural and Business Studies

In 2019, I completed my Bachelor's degree at Passau University. The interdisciplinary B.A. programme combines knowledge of economics and business administration with inter-cultural competences with special focus on Southeast Asia.