brain

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…

neurons

Can AI be conscious? Let us think about the question

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has achieved remarkable results in recent decades, especially thanks to the refinement of an old and for a long time neglected technology called Deep Learning (DL), a class of machine learning algorithms. Some achievements of DL had a significant impact on public opinion thanks to important media coverage, like the cases of the…

Governance, politics & policies of artificial intelligence

While recent debates about societal aspects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have largely focused on ethics principles and guidelines, questions of governance, politics and policies of AI have received less scrutiny. To address this gap, over more than three years I have been leading AI governance research programme to examine questions such as – What are…

Student conference flyer

The 5th HBP conference: Impressions on the first HBP online conference

The Human Brain Project (HBP) held its annual student conference on 1-5 February 2021. Because of the pandemic, the 5th HBP student conference was to be held online. Each day consisted of keynotes, workshops, student sessions, and networking sessions such as pub quiz, poster session, and science bazaar. Unlike last year, the conference was not…

child eye

Are you conscious? Looking for reliable indicators

How can we be sure that a person in front of us is conscious? This might seem like a näive question, but it actually resulted in one of the trickiest and most intriguing philosophical problems, classically known as “the other minds problem.” Yet this is more than just a philosophical game: reliable detection of conscious…

robot

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…

Decorative image of neurons

Paper roundup – Neuroethics, AI ethics, dual-use, responsible neurorobotics & how to carry on during the Covid-19 crisis

Large-scale international collaborative brain research exists in a societal context. The Human Brain Project is committed to responsible research and innovation. This summer, HPB researchers have published a number of papers on different ethical and societal impacts of neuroscientific advances. As the Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s professional and personal lives, we have shared experiences…

Diversity in research: why do we need it?

Scientific discovery is based on the novelty of the questions you ask. This means that if you want to discover something new, you probably have to ask a different question. And since different people have different preconceptions and experiences than you, they are likely to formulate their questions differently. This makes a case for diversity…

What is intelligence? Theoretical contributions to AI ethics from the Human Brain Project

Several European projects are contributing tools for applied AI ethics. A recent paper in Science and Engineering Ethics from the Human Brain Project suggests that that ethical reflection on the practical aspects of artificial intelligence requires theoretical reflection and clarification of key concepts: What is intelligence? And how do we make the distincition between natural…

Recommendations for European AI strategy

Engagement with publics and expert stakeholders is part of the Human Brain project’s approach to responsible research and innovation. One outcome of the work is seven recommendations for the European Commission’s whitepaper on AI from the Danish Board of Technology Foundation. The recommendations are based on input from experts in law, ethics, social science, economy…