The development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have both social and ethical impact. Because this technology has consequences for society, these are also key topics that need to be addressed by researchers and policymakers. And right now, the European Union is funding two projects addressing these issues under the “Science for and with Society” funding scheme: SIENNA and SHERPA, that will bring results that can help shape the ethical framework on new technological developments.
During the workshop, participants discussed a variety of topics, ranging from the application and impact of AI, and its social acceptance to standardisation efforts, ethics by design and regulatory options. The workshop was tailored to offer scientific support to policymakers to help them make informed decisions regarding the deployment and development of AI in EU funded projects.
We informed participants about;
- Key ethical issues and recent case studies related to AI (with regard to the fundamental techniques, methods and approaches, general implications and risks, AI products and applications);
- Recent developments in the legal, human rights and policy landscape in EU and beyond;
- Public perceptions and acceptability of AI;
- The methodology of Ethics by Design.
The workshop also actively engaged the participants with a range of options to address ethical and human rights issues, including:
- Recently developed guidelines on AI application;
- Regulatory options;
- Standardisation initiatives.
By applying the resulting insights to a case study drawn from their experience, the participants also contributed to shaping an ethical framework for AI development and deployment.
The speakers included lead scientists from SIENNA (‘Stakeholder-informed ethics for new technologies with high socio-economic and human rights impact’) and SHERPA (‘Shaping the ethical dimensions of smart information systems (SIS) – a European perspective’) projects.
About the projects
SIENNA (‘Stakeholder-informed ethics for new technologies with high socio-economic and human rights impact’) aims at developing ethical frameworks based on social, ethical and legal analysis and scientific and technological knowledge that addresses major present and future ethical issues in (a) genomics, (b) human enhancement and (c) AI and robotics. SIENNA involves 11 core partners and 2 associate partners, with one of them being the Dalian University of Technology, People’s Republic of China.
SHERPA (‘Shaping the ethical dimensions of smart information systems (SIS) – a European perspective’) aims to identify and address the ethical dimensions of IT technologies by working with a broad range of stakeholders to clarify and represent ethical, human rights and security issues of smart information systems. In doing so, SHERPA investigates, analyses and synthesises our understanding of the ways in which smart information systems impact ethics and human rights issues.
Working together to contribute to European policy
SIENNA and SHERPA collaborate with the PANELFIT project to maximise impact. The three projects have published an editorial about how we collaborate to set future ethical standards for ICT, Big Data, AI and robotics.