The SHERPA Vision : Ethics as integral to excellence in AI

A world where excellent AI and smart information systems support human flourishing by

  • integrating ethical concerns by design, and
  • safeguarding human rights

Achieving this vision will benefit individuals and consumers, and strengthen trust in AI systems.

These pages explain the SHERPA project recommendations to achieve this vision.

Recommendations to achieve this vision...

These recommendations aim to ensure that ethical and human rights issues of AI are recognised and addressed. They are based on the work of the EU project SHERPA. They are based on the view of AI as a set of overlapping ecosystems. In order to steer these ecosystems, three main conditions should be fulfilled:

  • Concepts need to be clear and the ecosystems need to be clearly delineated

  • There must be a sustainable knowledge base of technical, but also social, ethical and legal aspects

  • Governance of AI ecosystems should set the framework and support individuals and organisations

These three groups of recommendations each contain several individual recommendations as outlined here.


  • All
  • Concepts
  • Ecosystem Governance
  • Knowledge Base

Conceptual Clarity

Use appropriate and clear definitions of AI and digital technology​

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Knowledge Base

AI Impact Assessment

Develop baseline model for AI impact assessments

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Ethics Business Concept With Colorful Wooden Blocks
Knowledge Base

Ethics by Design

Promote Ethics by Design for researchers in EC-funded projects

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Knowledge Base

Education on AI and Ethics

Create training and education pathways that include ethics and human rights in AI

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Knowledge Base


Include research findings on AI ethics in standardization

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Knowledge Base


Undertake security analysis for machine learning systems

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Ecosystem Governance

Regulatory Framework

Develop a regulatory framework and enforcement mechanisms for AI

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Ecosystem Governance

European Agency for AI

Establish an independent European Union Agency for AI.

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Ecosystem Governance

AI Ethics Officer

Establish role of AI (Ethics) Officer in organisations

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