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 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”- Bernd Stahl, Director of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University and co-ordinator of the SHERPA project.

We have been busy.

Here’s where the SHERPA project has been the past 5 months.

May 2018

2-3 : SHERPA officially began when representatives from the 11 different partner organisations met in Brussels to kick off the project.

3: SHERPA organised a workshop entitled ‘AI and Big Data: Ethical and Human Rights Implications’ at the Press Club Brussels Europe.
28-29: F-Secure hosted a workshop in Helsinki titled ‘Cybersecurity, Industry and Ethics’ organized by the Horizon 2020 CANVAS project. The workshop focused on the ethical challenges that cybersecurity companies and organisations face in their research and day-to-day operations. Trilateral Research’s David Wright delivered a talk on ethical issues at the junction of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Intense and interesting discussions in the workshop revolved around the ethical issues connected to sharing results of cybersecurity research and investigations.

July 2018

3: SHERPA hosted its first scenario workshop in tandem with its first Stakeholder Board meeting. Trilateral Research’s first Scenario Planning workshop focused on ‘AI that Mimics People’. Following a presentation by David Wright, the workshop largely discussed the implications of mimicking AI in the healthcare sector. The scenario workshops are posed to highlight steps policy-makers (and/or other stakeholders) need to take in order to reach a desired future and to mitigate any undesired impacts.

3: EUREC hosted its first SHERPA Stakeholder board meeting. The meeting discussed the role of the stakeholders in the project, largely to serve as independent experts during the project to share their views on the issues SHERPA is working on. The discussion that ensued pointed out that the scenarios will need to be thoroughly explored such that they cover all different types of technologies and algorithms.

  • Since this meeting, we are pleased to announce that many more stakeholder board members have joined

  • Stay tuned as we will introduce them to you in forthcoming newsletters.

4:  SHERPA has attended the ORBIT conference in Cambridge, at which Laurence Brooks of De Montfort University submitted an informative infographic about SHERPA. Check it out!


25 June 2018: Bernd Stahl and David Wright co-authored a paper entitled ‘Ethics and Privacy in AI and Big Data: Implementing Responsible Research and Innovation.’ The article suggests that what is needed now is a way to comprehensively understand the issues facing AI, big data and their applications, to find mechanisms of addressing them that involve stakeholders, including civil society,  and ultimately to ensure that these technologies’ benefits outweigh their disadvantages is found in the 16th Volume of IEEE Security Privacy, pages 26–33.

4 September 2018: NEN and University of Twente  published an article in the Dutch online magazine, Ibestuur, introducing the project and its relevance for civil servants.

What’s next for the project?

October 2018

17: Laurence Brooks of De Montfort University will be attending a conference on AI and Robotics at CEATEC in Japan. He will be discussing ‘SHERPA – the Implications of AI on ethics and human rights’.

26: SHERPA will be presenting at the ETSI IoT week on October 23-26

NEN was selected to present the SHERPA project and to lead a discussion on ethics and IoT on October 26 at 9:00 am at the ETSI IoT Week in Valbonne near France. For more info contact Marlou Bijlsma or Thamar Wijlstra at

November 2018

6: SHERPA will be presenting at the upcoming WebSummit in Lisbon, Portugal. Dr. Bernd Stahl, Dr. Kevin Macnish and Dr. Tally Hatzakis have been selected to present SHERPA on behalf of the consortium. Come and visit the SHERPA project booth in the Social Innovation Village hosted by the European Commission.