Beyond box-ticking: towards ethics dialogues

‘Beyond Research Ethics: Dialogues in Neuro-ICT Research’ is the title of a recent article (Stahl et al 2019) published by the members of Ethics Support team of the Human Brain Project (HBP). This article outlines a dialogical approach that the Ethics Support team applies in its work in the HBP. This approach offers an alternative…

Explainability and Counterfactuals: Algorithmic Decisions and the Individual

Tonii Leach How do AI algorithms make decisions? Why might we need to understand this, and to what extent do we need to understand this? How can we conceptualise ‘explainable’ AI? And when we ask for an explanation, what is it that we really want to know? On the 27th of February Dr Brent Mittelstadt…

Responsible Dual Use in Neuroscience and Neurotechnology

Neurotechnology as many other powerful technologies can potentially be ‘dual use’ technology, namely it can be used for beneficial as well as harmful purposes. How can we ensure that neuroscience and technology developed for civilian applications is not misused towards malicious ends? What can researchers, engineers, policy-makers and other stakeholders do to safeguard responsible use…

Engaging with emerging technologies: representation, responsibility, and reflexivity

How do we make scientists and engineers aware of societal and ethical issues? And how do we engage diverse publics with the latest developments in future and emerging technologies? What challenges do we face and what can we learn from such engagements? These were guiding questions for the panel ‘Engaging with emerging technologies: representation, responsibility…

Dual Use and Responsible Research: Learning about Ethical Challenges Ahead

Winter-Gladys Wanjiku and Inga Ulnicane The 2nd Human Brain Project (HBP) Curriculum Workshop ‘Research, ethics & societal impact. Dual use and responsible research: ethical challenges’ took place at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm from the 14th to the 17th of November 2018. This workshop showcased the interdisciplinary nature of not only the HBP itself, but…

Beyond Human Rights: Ethics in the age of AI and Posthumanism

Tonii Leach As the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) develops at an exponential rate, and technology becomes ever more integrated into our lives, it is imperative that the ethics of the convergence of these subjects is considered. Whilst the possibility of the development of a general superintelligence seems remote, consideration of the ethical implications of…

Animal research ethics in the Human Brain Project: Q&A with Abdul K.H. Mohammed

Abdul Kadir H. Mohammed is Senior Professor at Linnaeus University (Sweden) and Associated at the Karolinska Institute (Sweden). He has been part of the Human Brain Project (HBP) since its start in 2013. His responsibilities at the HBP have included animal research ethics within the Ethics Support work package and organising ethics workshops within the…

Making sense of changing relationships between technology, security and society in Europe

How do new technological developments influence security in Europe? What role do drones, artificial intelligence and social media play in contemporary European society and security? And what to expect from recent trends in European Union’s (EU) security policy such as plans to fund defence research? These were some of the questions addressed at the workshop…

Ethics and Neurorobotics workshop

What is neurorobotics and how does it differ from ‘classical robotics’? What are potential future developments in this field? What social and ethical questions might they pose and how do we address them? These were some of the topics discussed at the Ethics and Neurorobotics joint workshop bringing together researchers from the Human Brain Project’s…

Healthcare in the Era of Big Data: Opportunities and Challenges

Bernd Stahl I recently had the honour of being invited to contribute the conference on “Healthcare in the Era of Big Data: Opportunities and Challenges”, organised by the New York Academy of Sciences on 24 and 25 October 2018. The event brought together about 150 stakeholders from groups including academia, industry, regulators and patient representatives.…