EU-funded projects SHERPA, SIENNA & PANELFIT launch international conference on the ethical governance of disruptive technologies

The SHERPA, SIENNA and PANELFIT projects are delighted to announce their “Policy options for the ethical governance of disruptive technologies” online conference, which will take place on 23 March 2021. The event will focus on the ethical, social and legal impact of emerging technologies and the projects’ proposals for the ethical governance of these technologies. 

The three EU projects represent a €10m investment in research from the European Commission to develop governance structures that are sensitive to ethical and human rights concerns of emerging technologies, notably including artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. 

This event, organized and hosted in collaboration with the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment panel (STOA), builds on the work undertaken in the three projects and is meant to stimulate high-level policy-related debate around questions concerning new and emerging disruptive technologies. The common goal is to ensure that technology advancement has a beneficial impact on society and that related risks are addressed early.

The event will be moderated by Science journalist and broadcaster Vivienne Parry and will include keynote speeches from the EC’s Mariya Gabriel and Despina Spanou, as well as the University of Montreal’s renowned AI expert Yoshua Bengio.

For more information and to register for the event visit the STOA website.



SHERPA (Shaping the ethical dimensions of smart information systems (SIS) – a European perspective) is an EU-funded project which analyses how AI and big data analytics impact ethics and human rights. In dialogue with stakeholders, the project is developing novel ways to understand and address these challenges to find desirable and sustainable solutions that can benefit both innovators and society. As part of its work, the project has developed a set of recommendations to ensure that ethical and human rights issues of AI are recognised and addressed.

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SIENNA (Stakeholder-Informed Ethics for New technologies with high socio-ecoNomic and human rights impAct) has developed ethical frameworks for human genomics, human enhancement,  artificial intelligence and robotics and proposals for improving how these technologies are regulated. The ethical frameworks have been operationalised for different actors. All SIENNA proposals build on input from stakeholders, experts and citizens. SIENNA has also developed more general approaches to identifying and addressing ethical and legal issues in relation to new and emerging technologies.

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PANELFIT (Participatory Approaches to a New Ethical and Legal Framework for ICT) is an EU-funded project aimed at the implementation of the new regulatory framework regarding data protection. Our Guidelines on the Ethical and Legal issues of ICT research and innovation are particularly important to this purpose since they provide end-users and stakeholders working on ICT R&D with an easy-to-use online tool able to advise them about the best way to deal with data protection issues in a practical manner. For this purpose, we are working on a co-creation scheme that includes the active participation of more than a hundred stakeholders and end-users.

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