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 this adaptation was a great success, despite having to limit the number of issues covered. 11 stakeholders came together on 23 March 2020 to discuss with the SHERPA partners the results of the project on regulation and the preliminary recommendations that SHERPA has developed to tackle the ethical issues that Smart Information Systems pose and to create AI systems that are beneficial to all.

In the first part of the meeting, the need for a new regulator for AI and Big Data was debated in some detail. Rowena Rodrigues from Trilateral Research presented SHERPA’s research and was given valuable feedback when she asked the group if this new regulator is needed in the first place and if yes what has to be taken into account in the process.

Afterwards, SHERPA Coordinator Bernd Stahl (DMU) presented SHERPA’s preliminary recommendations of what has to be done to not only avoid the potential harms of AI but to foster an Ecosystem of AI for Human Flourishing. The concept was discussed and considered worthy to add “considerable value to the discourse”. Despite the online limitations, the discussions that flowed during the meeting were seen as valuable and relevant to both the stakeholders and partners. We are very grateful to our stakeholder board for being adaptable and look forward to continuing these discussions no matter the format.