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?

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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.

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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.

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How Data is used in CRM strategies
Concept of Customer Relationship Management - vector illustration

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.

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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.

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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.

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