SHERPA provides comments to the European Commission on its White Paper on Artificial Intelligence

On 12 June 2020, the SHERPA project provided feedback to the European Commission as part of a public consultation on its White Paper on Artificial Intelligence – A European Approach. The feedback was based on SHERPA findings and preliminary recommendations. In the response, SHERPA advocated for promoting and funding artificial intelligence (AI) that is ethical, protects human rights, […]

Smart Information Systems and the Digital Divide

The SHERPA project has analysed human rights implications of Smart Information Systems (SIS). This briefing paper describes key insights of a case study on the digital divide. 52% of the world population lack access to the Internet. Whilst there is no human right to access to the Internet, such access is required to enjoy other human rights, such as education and political participation. The technical requirements and costs for SIS are considerable. New digital divides are predicted as a limited number of companies can make full use of it.

How Social Media Data is Used to Predict Risk

The SHERPA project has undertaken 10 case studies on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics in different application scenarios. This briefing paper describes key insights of the use of these technologies in a small start-up that uses social media data for the purposes of predictive risk intelligence. It raises questions of privacy and data protection but also of power and labour relationships. The case demonstrates that even a small start-up can find ways of addressing such issues, if awareness and willingness are present.

Dignity, Robots and Care for the Elderly

The SHERPA project has analysed human rights implications of Smart Information Systems. This briefing paper describes key insights of a case study on robot use in social care. The case demonstrates that discussions framed around the concept of dignity cause more confusion than enlightenment. Whilst ethical issues of privacy, manipulation, and harm through malfunction require urgent attention, proponents and opponents of robot use in social care use dignity to support their positions. As a result, neither succeeds.

The Rights of Robots

The SHERPA project has analysed human rights implications of Smart Information Systems, placing particular focus on robots. This briefing paper reverses the equation and explores the feasibility and scope of the rights of robots. Although long-debated as to whether ‘things’ can have personhood, it seems that the discussions specifically around ‘human rights for robots’ have turned out to be highly controversial. The main problematic lies around the relationship between humans, robots and things: where do robots belong? What are the possible implications of gathering and using this kind of data?

Moving forward on regulating AI and big data in Europe

There is much debate whether hard-hitting legal regulation with respect to AI and big data is required. Our research shows that the danger with this is its potential to cause unforeseen, adverse or chilling effects that are unintended in a field that is very dynamic and fast-developing. There are various proposals for laws, regulatory bodies and other regulatory tools and mechanisms to support, enhance or monitor the responsible development of AI and big data technologies. This briefing, focusing particularly on the EU-level, presents snapshots of policy and other stakeholder perspectives on the regulation of AI, regulatory options and recommendations on potential courses of action based on SHERPA research.

Algorithms predicting your BMI

SHERPA artist Tijmen Schep is exploring algorithms that try to predict your BMI (body mass index) from just a photo of your face. In this blogpost, he dives into the various open-source projects he found online. He says it’s like “going on a safari”, where you see a wide range of creations. There are some […]

SIENNA and SHERPA provide feedback on JURI report on a framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies

On 22 May 2020, SIENNA and SHERPA projects, jointly provided feedback on the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs draft report with recommendations to the Commission on a framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies (2020/2012(INL) based on the findings and results of the SHERPA and SIENNA EU-funded projects. Key amongst […]

Security Issues, Dangers and Implications of Smart Information Systems (SIS)

This is an overview of the study and resulting report produced in the SHERPA project on security-related challenges and implications of the growing role of Smart Information Systems (SIS) in our society, with a particular focus on machine learning-based systems. We argue that issues of reliability of SIS, their resilience to attacks of determined adversaries, and their potential use for malicious purposes – while often overlooked by SIS developers and users today – deserve high attention.

Ethical Dimensions of COVID-19 Tracking Apps: Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing Pepp-Pt and Data Protection

Every country has to address the challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic. Solutions are needed to contain or even stop the virus spreading, and tracking apps seem to be a promising tool as they can help to identify the contacts a person tested positive for Covid-19 had. Covid-19 tracking apps provide a good example of […]

How Data is used in CRM strategies

This briefing paper describes key insights of the use of Smart Information Systems (SIS) in Customer Relations Management (CRM), looking at the research of the Finnish telecommunications provider Elisa. The company uses SIS to help manage large customer databases and improve customer interaction by companies. The case highlights practical issues, such as the implications of international differences in ethical norms and values.

How Data is used in Smart Cities

This briefing paper describes the use of Smart Information Systems these technologies in four smart cities (Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Helsinki). The concept of a smart city is still new, which leaves many of the ethical challenges to still be defined. This case study explores these challenges and offers valuable insights into the development, use and implementation of SIS in urban environments by comparing the literature with the experiences faced by professionals in practice.

How Data may Improve Farming

This briefing paper describes key insights of the use of Smart Information Systems in agriculture, looking at the Maglis Project of BASF. This project uses data analytics to personalize the exact purchase needs of farmers, leading to cost reductions and improved decision-making and efficiency for the farmer. Maglis demonstrates how agriculture deals with specific ethical concerns, such as accuracy of data, data ownership, privacy and security, and employment concerns.

COVID-19: exit strategies and the role of ethical health apps

From our partner NEN. The EU and many national authorities are beginning initiatives to support COVID lockdown exit strategies through standards-compliant mobile data and apps. The privacy of the proposed technical solutions is getting a lot of attention. However, next to privacy it is also important that the app is useful, safe, transparent, and accessible […]

Smart Information Systems and Health

Our health and health care are interrelated with the growing use and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Smart Information Systems (SIS) in general. SIS contribute to extending the length and enhancing the quality of life of patients through, for example wearable technology for health purposes and AI developments which have contributed to advancements in health research. However, accessing the right to health entails providing data in, for example, patient electronic health records, insurance claims and pharmacy prescriptions, rendering medical big data a particularly rich but sensitive type.

SHERPA, recognising the contributions SIS can make to health and health care but also the vulnerabilities that exist in relation to AI, dedicated a chapter on SIS and Health which provides a short overview of current legal instruments related to health, positive and negative aspects emanating from the interplay between health and SIS, as well as ideas on desired performance levels of SIS in the realm of health.

Partners come together online to discuss third phase of the project

On 24th and 25th March 2020, the SHERPA project had its fifth General Assembly (GA) meeting since the project began in May 2018. The partners discussed the progress of the project so far, including the Delphi study, case studies and scenarios (amongst others) and how those results can be shared with policymakers, as well as the […]

Online Exchange of SHERPA Stakeholders in times of COVID-19

In times of COVID-19 and the imposed restrictions on business life, everybody needs to improvise and find new formats for exchange, especially regarding in-person meetings. Accordingly, the third SHERPA Stakeholder Board Meeting had to be transformed within two weeks from a physical one-day meeting into a two-hour video conference. We are happy to report that […]

SHERPA webinar: Security Issues, Dangers and Implications of Smart Information Systems

While recent innovations in the machine learning domain have enabled significant improvements in a variety of computer-aided tasks, machine learning systems present us with new challenges, new risks, and new avenues for attackers. As such, researchers should consider how machine learning may shape our environment in ways that could be harmful. Our SHERPA project partners […]

SHERPA Advocacy Event held in Brussels on 5 March

On 5 March 2020, the SHERPA Project hosted its second advocacy private lunch. The lunch was organised by the European Business Summits at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. SHERPA Coordinator and Director for the Centre of Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montford University, Bernd Stahl presented to a group of 14 participants working in […]

AI Design Challenge begins at the HRO in Rotterdam

On February 25, 2020,  60 students at the Practical University of Rotterdam (HRO) started an 8-week long ‘design challenge’ in which they will create interactive installations. Guided by SHERPA artist Tijmen Schep, twelve teams will critically reflect on the power of machine learning and automated decision making. To help them iterate quickly, students will be […]

Ethics assessment, business as usual  

How do we embed ethics in innovation? As innovations do not follow a fixed recipe, they might turn out how one least expects and cause controversy. A successful innovation must at an early stage, address ethical impacts. Further, how do you embed ethics in your organization? An ethics committee and an ethics impact assessment will […]

SHERPA at the Unfreezing Freedom Symposium

Do you ever hesitate to click on a link because you think “that might be remembered, and that could come back to me later”? This question was put forward by SHERPA partner Tijmen Schep at the Unfreezing Freedom Symposium in Rotterdam last week. The goal of the event was to put the rise of data-driven […]

SHERPA Podcast – Balancing AI: Privacy, Misuse, Ethics and the Future

While AI and machine learning are enabling definite advances in the digital world, these technologies are also raising privacy and ethical concerns. What does AI mean for personal privacy, and is it being exploited unethically? Are these concerns being addressed, or will AI spell disaster for society? The SHERPA project coordinator, Bernd Stahl, was invited […]

Candle has won a Dutch Privacy Award!

Candle – the privacy-friendly smart home demonstrator – has won a Dutch Privacy Award! It was handed to Sherpa’s artist Tijmen Schep by Kees Verhoeven, a member of Dutch house of representatives who often speaks on issues of privacy and ethics. The jury hopes this award pushes Candle from a prototype into becoming a real […]

SHERPA at the Sign of the Time event in Amsterdam

The 28th edition of the Sign of the Time event, which takes place at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam on the 29th of January 2020 at 20:00, will explore the strained relation between ethics and industrial design. Specifically, the evening will take us through the growing number of questions surrounding the smart home industry. As […]

Next SHERPA Webinar to discuss Cybersecurity matters of AI systems

On 11 March at 11 CEST, Andrew Patel, a researcher from F-Secure, will talk about things that can go wrong when implementing AI systems, how AI can be attacked, and how AI might be used for malicious purposes. This webinar will offer the opportunity for you to learn and ask questions about the intersection of […]

Candle Nominated for Dutch Privacy Awards

How can we convince the privacy industry to explore a more ethical direction?  Artist Tijmen Schep (Pineapple Jazz) believes that one way is to translate SHERPA’s insights and suggestions into practical examples. In his experience as a teacher, building prototypes is a great way to quickly explore and convey ideas since many people are practical […]

Symposium on Intercultural Digital Ethics

Ulrich Beck once said that ethics plays the role of a bicycle brake on an intercontinental plane. This, Hagendorff notes, is particularly true of artificial intelligence research. Not to be deterred by the scale of the task, the Digital Ethics Lab at Oxford University organised a Symposium on Intercultural Digital Ethics on 10 December 2019. SHERPA […]

Guidelines for Ethical Development and Use of SIS

The SHERPA project has published the first draft of its guidelines for ethical development and use of smart information systems (SIS) in our online workbook. These build on recent documents, such as the report by the AI Higher Level Expert Group of the European Parliament, but go further. In particular, the guidelines are operationalised, meaning […]

SGDs and Ethical AI Paper presented at IEEE Smart World Conference

The SHERPA project presented a paper at the IEEE Smart World Conference in August 2019. Comparing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the findings of the SHERPA project’s own case studies, the project found that the use of smart information systems (SIS – the combination of AI and Big Data) offers great potential for […]

Questioning Equitable AI in Public Health

SHERPA Coordinator, Professor Bernd Stahl presented the SHERPA Project as a part of a 2-day event focused on Equitable AI in Public Health on the 7 – 8 November in Toronto (Canada).  The keynote presentation was aimed to suggest ways of classifying ethical issues arising from AI and applying this classification to public health. Professor […]

SIENNA and SHERPA training on ethics and artificial intelligence for European Commission

On 26 November 2019, the SIENNA and SHERPA projects were invited to organize an interactive workshop for the European Unions’ different research funding schemes. The workshop, “Ethics and Artificial Intelligence: Foreseeing the Impact and Shaping the Future”, presented findings from both projects, and its focus was on the different ethical dimensions and impact of AI […]

Candle makes waves at Dutch Design Week and on Reddit

Candle, the privacy-friendly smart home project, was launched at the Dutch Design Week (70000 visitors) a few weeks ago. The project’s local voice control features were made possible with Sherpa’s support, and the ethical design reflects the AI guidelines the SHERPA project has been working on (and which will be released at a future date). The […]

Ethical principles made practical

SHERPA is assessing the potential of standardising good practices or quality criteria to ensure ethics and human rights in Smart Information Systems. The Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations recently published a toolbox for ethical responsible innovation. The toolbox includes many references to practical guidelines on how to implement innovation in an ethically responsible […]

SHERPA Advocacy Kick-off Lunch

On 7 November 2019, the SHERPA project kicked off the advocacy mandate with a private lunch for policymakers. The lunch was organised by the European Business Summits as a part of the Think Digital conference at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, Belgium.  Laurence Brooks, Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility at De Montford University, and […]

Value-driven innovation approaches

On 6 November 2019, SHERPA participated in the 4th Technology Assessment Conference in Bratislava. During the session on value-driven innovation approaches: theory and practice, organised by  Rathenau Institute (the Netherlands), our partner Marlou Bijlsma from NEN shared the findings from the SHERPA smart grids and ethics case study and standardisation efforts in the sector to […]

What is the role of the SHERPA Stakeholder Board?

Every project has its blind spots and limits of knowledge. Therefore it is essential to work together with independent stakeholders who bring in their expertise and contribute to all activities of the project. This is primarily done by the SHERPA stakeholder board which is a permanent body throughout the project. We have gathered 30 experts […]

Privacy-friendly Smart Home System: Introducing Candle

Voice control systems such as Alexa and Siri have been in the news lately, as it turned out that unbeknownst to many, voice recordings were listened to by outside contractors. Companies like Google, Amazon and Apple claimed this practice is necessary to improve the quality of their voice assistants. But to what extent is this […]

SHERPA partners meet in Cyprus to discuss project developments

The 4th SHERPA General Assembly meeting was hosted by UClanCY (University of Central Lancashire-Cyprus), and was held in Larnaca (Cyprus) on the 10th and 11th October 2019. The meeting provided an opportunity for partners to reflect on the current progress of the SHERPA project. This included presentations around the findings of completed deliverables and discussion of key insights. […]

Ethics of AI – The SHERPA project chairs panel in London’s Connected World Summit

Does surveillance and data collection mean an erosion of privacy? What formal regulation and policy is required as smart cities develop? To what extent should private companies lead urban transformation? Is involving the public from an early stage the key to technological innovation? These are but some of the questions to be discussed in the Panel […]

Advocating for Ethical Smart Information Systems

The SHERPA Project, now in its 17th month, has entered the advocacy phase. The European Business Summit (EBS), a Brussels-based event organizer, will lead the work and advocate the SHERPA project deliverables towards the EU and national decision-makers. The SHERPA advocacy objective is to achieve a lasting impact, facilitating effective policy actions and paving the way […]

Exploring regulatory options for SIS – call for feedback

Currently, the SHERPA project is working on identifying and analysing regulatory options for smart information systems . The SHERPA regulatory options analysis team would like to solicit your help to answer the following questions: Has our preliminary research identified all the regulatory options relevant to smart information systems (AI and big data) for further analysis […]

SHERPA, SIENNA and Panelfit are working towards setting future ethical standards

In an effort to assist policymakers in the struggle to assess the ethical, legal and human rights impacts of IT systems, the PANELFIT, SHERPA and SIENNA projects are collaborating on how to improve ethical, human rights and legal frameworks for information and communication technologies (ICT), big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.  The PANELFIT, SHERPA […]

Hoe wil je dat de toekomst van AI en Big Data eruit ziet?

Onderzoekers nodigen publieke reacties uit op vijf scenario’s voor kunstmatige intelligentie die in het jaar 2025 zijn opgesteld Kunstmatige intelligentie heeft nu al een grote impact op ons leven, onze samenleving en onze economie. AI heeft al veel kwesties aan de orde gesteld met betrekking tot privacy, gegevensbescherming, discriminatie, autonomie, machtsasymmetrieën, eerlijkheid, onder andere, maar […]

Πως θέλετε να μοιάζει το μέλλον της Τεχνητής Νοημοσύνης και των Μεγάλων Δεδομένων;

Ερευνητές καλούν το κοινό να σχολιάσει πέντε σενάρια που αφορούν την εξέλιξη της τεχνητής νοημοσύνης μέχρι το 2025 Η τεχνητή νοημοσύνη έχει ήδη σημαντικές επιπτώσεις στη ζωή, την κοινωνία και την οικονομία μας. Έχει ήδη εγείρει πολλά ζητήματα σχετικά με, μεταξύ άλλων, την προστασία της ιδιωτικής ζωής, την προστασία των δεδομένων, τις διακρίσεις, την αυτονομία, […]

Mitä haluat AI: n ja Big Data: n tulevaisuuden näyttää?

Tutkijat kutsuvat julkisia kommentteja viidestä keinotekoisen älykkyyden skenaariosta, jotka on asetettu vuonna 2025 Keinotekoisella älyllä on jo suuri vaikutus elämään, yhteiskuntaan ja talouteen. AI on jo herättänyt monia kysymyksiä, jotka liittyvät muun muassa yksityisyyden suojaan, tietosuojaan, syrjintään, autonomiaan, vallan epäsymmetrisyyteen, oikeudenmukaisuuteen, mutta mitä AI tekee kuuden vuoden kuluttua, vuonna 2025? Mihin toimiin poliittisten päättäjien olisi […]

Wie soll die Zukunft von AI und Big Data aussehen?

Die Forscher fordern die Öffentlichkeit auf, sich zu fünf Szenarien mit künstlicher Intelligenz im Jahr 2025 zu äußern Künstliche Intelligenz hat bereits erhebliche Auswirkungen auf unser Leben, unsere Gesellschaft und unsere Wirtschaft. AI hat bereits viele Fragen aufgeworfen, unter anderem in Bezug auf Privatsphäre, Datenschutz, Diskriminierung, Autonomie, Machtasymmetrien und Fairness. Aber was wird AI in […]

Que préconisez-vous pour l’avenir de l’Intelligence Artificielle et des Big Data?

Les chercheurs du projet SHERPA invitent le public à commenter les cinq scénarios sur l’avenir de l’intelligence artificielle en 2025 L’intelligence Artificielle détientdès aujourd’hui un impact majeur sur nos vies, notre société et notre économie. Amnesty International a soulevéde nombreuses questions relatives à la protection de la vie privée, à la protection des données, à […]

What Do You Want the Future of AI and Big Data to Look Like

Researchers invite public comment on five artificial intelligence scenarios set in the year 2025 Artificial intelligence is already having a major impact on our lives, society and economy. AI has raised many issues related to privacy, data protection, discrimination, autonomy, power asymmetries, and fairness, among others, but what will AI be doing in six years […]

Call for Papers : Ethics by Design track

Part of the 4TU.Ethics Biannual Conference ‘The Ethics of Disruptive Technologies’ TU/Eindhoven, The Netherlands, November 7th – 8th 2019 Deadline for submission: June 15th, 2019   Notification:  July 5th, 2019 Co-Chairs Prof. Dr. Philip Brey University of Twente, coordinator of the SIENNA project Prof. Dr. Bernd Carsten Stahl, De Montfort University, coordinator of the SHERPA project […]

The Sherpa Newsletter

  Welcome to the SHERPA Project’s Third Newsletter! SHERPA is well underway! We have been busy researching and writing case studies and scenarios, and are onto the second phase of the project: ethical guidelines, the workbook and advocacy. Recent Publications: Understanding Ethics and Human Rights in Smart Information Systems by Macnish, Ryan and Stahl in […]

Stirring the global technological agenda towards social good at the Web Summit

With more than 70,000 attendees over a four-day period, the Web Summit in Lisbon brought together politicians, technologists, and NGOs to think together, exchange views and set priorities. With more than 70 dedicated discussions and panels, AI was one of the hot topics on the summit’s agenda and high on everyone’s priority list. A wide […]

SHERPA Newsletter – September 2018

Welcome to the SHERPA project’s first newsletter SHERPA is a Horizon 2020 project (EU grant number 786641). Looking towards the future of technology, the SHERPA project will investigate, analyse and synthesise our understanding of the ways in which Smart Information Systems impact ethics and human rights issues. “Artificial intelligence and big data analytics bring a […]

SHERPA to present at the ETSI IoT Week in France in October.

We are proud to announce that the SHERPA Project will be presenting at the ETSI IoT Week running from the 23rd to 26th of October. The talk entitled: ‘Standards for the ethical and societal impact of new technologies’ will take place on the Friday the 26th of October at 9:00 in Valbonne near Nice, France. Presented […]

What is the future of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data? SHERPA’s upcoming scenario workshops

Scenarios form a crucial element of  the SHERPA project as they demonstrate future projections and applications of SIS technologies in the next 5 years. In order to carry out this foresight research, scenario workshops will be critical to gaining the expertise necessary. The upcoming scenario workshops are listed as follows: AI in Defence in Brussels, Belgium […]

SHERPA conducts first scenario workshop on “AI that mimics people”

Prepared by Trilateral Research Ltd on behalf of the SHERPA consortium On 3 July 2018, the first SHERPA scenario planning workshop took place at Innovate UK, in Brussels, with 22 representatives from 8 European countries and 17 different organisations (from academia, industry, civil society, standards bodies, and ethics committees), as well as policy officer, Albena […]

When AI, big data, ethics and human rights converge

Prepared by Trilateral Research Ltd on behalf of the SHERPA consortium “Artificial intelligence and big data analytics bring a variety of benefits to society, but at the same time have the potential to disrupt society, ethical values and human rights, and life as we know it”, says Bernd Stahl, Director of the Centre for Computing […]

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