Constructing an EU agency for AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers great promise in terms of societal and economic benefits. But it also raises numerous ethical and human rights concerns as the technology might inherit and exacerbate flaws that are already present in society. There have been numerous calls for the regulation and legislation of AI, most prominently the EU’s 2021 proposal…

Increasingly big data & the pressing need for international data governance of neuroscience

Understanding the brain requires great effort and the scale of neuroscience research projects is increasing to scale. This means crossing borders in big international research initiatives, and as a result being subject to national and international laws, regulations and policies in both data collection and transfer. While neuroscience data transcends borders, data governance typically stays…

Social, ethical & reflective work in the HBP: The publications list

The HBP is characterised by a profound and broad interdisciplinarity, and it is unique among the large international Brain Initiatives in having included social sciences and humanities in the core research from its very beginning, devoting approximately 5% of the budget to this end. We have compiled a list of all articles, books, and reports related…

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Neuroimages, artificial intelligence & re-identification of research subjects

Taking images of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI for short, also captures the face. For a long time, techniques that remove facial features from neuroimages have allowed for open sharing of anonymised neuroimages. But new developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning have made it possible to re-create the removed facial features…

Designing a responsible neuroscience research infrastructure

Over the past 8 years, the Human Brain Project (HBP) has tested the strengths and limitations of responsible research & innovation, also known as RRI. To mark the ten-year anniversary of RRI, a group of HBP researchers now share what can be learned from implementing this concept in a large multi-disciplinary research project. This includes…

How do we take responsibility for dual-use research?

We are more often than we think governed by old patterns of thought. As a philosopher, I find it fascinating to see how mental patterns capture us, how we get imprisoned in them, and how we can get out of them. With that in mind, I recently read a book chapter on something that is…

Beyond ‘good old CERN’: data and digital research infrastructures

In the popular imaginaries of Research Infrastructures, the ‘good old CERN’ is often seen as the prime example of European Research Infrastructures. Created in the post-World War II and emerging Cold War context of the 1950s, the European Organization of Nuclear Research (CERN) has developed in a highly-regarded success story of international cooperation, scientific discoveries…

Smartphone

Privacy & data ethics in recent podcast episode

Despite our trusting nature and the convenience of certain apps, it important to keep asking questions about how technology works and how decisions are made. Who is following your life through your smartphone? And why does it matter? Find out more about what ethical issues arise with the implementation of new technology, and why we…

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Ethics as renewed clarity about new situations

An article in the journal Big Data & Society criticizes the form of ethics that has come to dominate research and innovation in artificial intelligence (AI). The authors question the same “framework interpretation” of ethics that you could read about on the Ethics Blog last week. However, with one disquieting difference. Rather than functioning as a…

fenced off gardens

Ethical frameworks for research

The word ethical framework evokes the idea of ​​something rigid and separating, like the fence around the garden. The research that emerges within the framework is dynamic and constantly new. However, to ensure safety, it is placed in an ethical framework that sets clear boundaries for what researchers are allowed to do in their work. That this…