The Sherpa Newsletter


Welcome to the SHERPA Project’s Third Newsletter!

SHERPA is well underway! We have been busy researching and writing case studies and scenarios, and are onto the second phase of the project: ethical guidelines, the workbook and advocacy.

Recent Publications:

Understanding Ethics and Human Rights in Smart Information Systems by Macnish, Ryan and Stahl in Orbit

Ethics of Public Use of AI and Big Data by Mark Ryan in Orbit

SHERPA’s Cross-case Analysis has Begun!

Following the culmination of a range of case studies, the University of Twente, De Montfort University and The University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus (UCLanCY) are collaborating to develop a cross-case analysis. This analysis will consider the findings across the case studies and cross-reference them – to be completed around the end of April. This work will provide insights into the comparative and contrasting elements across all of the case studies – whose conclusions will be instrumental when it comes to policy creation in this area.

SHERPA and SIENNA Respond to HLEG Draft Guidelines

SIENNA, SHERPA, and some of the partners including Trilateral Research and the Center for Computing and Social Responsibility collaborated to provide a response to the High Level Expert Group’s Draft Guidelines/ consultation, thus giving input in the most prominent European activity focused on ethics of AI.

Key takeaways from this response were:

  • Agree that the principles of autonomy, justice and explicability are important to consider with reference to AI and they constitute important ethical principles for this field

  • There are not enough ethical principles as a part of the ethical checklist for AI

  • They took issue with the unnecessary complexity of the structure and lack of system of the guidelines.  Specifically with regarding 5 ethical principles which then translate into 10 requirements – they should be simplified and systematised

To view the full response please click here.

SHERPA, SIENNA and PANELFIT collaboration

The three European funded projects have begun the process of collaborating. Sharing of information between these projects is crucial to their successes due to the overlap in subject matter (ethics and technology). One initial activity co-organised by the three projects is the Forum on Ethics and Human Rights in Smart Information Systems (  which will form part of the IEEE Smart World conference ( This event includes an open call for papers that will close on 26 April.  SHERPA and our sister projects would be delighted to see contributions from the community.

New Dutch mirror committee Artificial intelligence & big data

Standards form a possible answer to uncertainties surrounding artificial intelligence and big data. As an increasing number of AI experts contribute to standards worldwide, the Dutch added to this standardization landscape by establishing a national mirror committee to these international activities. The primary goal of the Dutch standardization committee is to bring forward the national position with regards to international standardization by CEN and ISO. The members will actively take part in the European and global developments. Only when necessary, they will develop documents on a national level. Organizations in the Netherlands are encouraged to contribute to the committee. More information can be found on the website (in Dutch). Stakeholders in other countries can participate via their their national member body of ISO and/or CEN.

What’s Next for SHERPA?

This Spring

March 4 – Project Coordinator, Bernd Stahl participated in a panel discussion entitled ‘Towards a Human-Centred Ethical AI?’ in Paris. The panel took place in the context of the  ‘Principles for AI: Towards a Humanistic Approach’ conference hosted by UNESCO.

April 10 – SHERPA will hold its first webinar At 11 AM CEST (10 AM UK time). This first webinar of the series will showcase a general overview of the project including what we have accomplished in the first year and what is coming next.

Presented by Professor Bernd Carsten Stahl, the format will follow a 20 minute presentation and a 30 minute Q & A. This is the perfect time to learn more about the project and to get real-time feedback to your questions. Subscribe to the Webinar here.

May 6 – 7 – Laurence Brooks, Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility at De Montford University, will present the SHERPA project at the European Business Summit on May 7. Join the Summit and Meet the Expert to learn more about the project:

May 13-14 – The next SHERPA General Assembly will be held in London, UK and will provide an opportunity for partners to come together to discuss project objectives, collaborate and move forward.

May 14 – On 14th May the second SHERPA Stakeholder Board Meeting is going to take place in London. 16 experts from the board are going to discuss with the work package leaders of the SHERPA consortium the first results of the project and give input to the status quo and the further proceeding of the SHERPA project. We are looking forward to a lively discussion on the ethical and human rights issues of SIS and the possible and desired options of actions.


July 3-4 – SHERPA Ethical Guidelines Workshops will be held in Brussels. The workshops will focus on the development of two sets of draft ethical guidelines for Smart information Systems (SIS): one set for the development of SIS (July 3rd) and another for their use by and in organisations (July 4th). Are you working in this field? If yes, and you are interested in attending please contact Mark Ryan to confirm your attendance for one or both days of the workshop.

We hope that you can join us at one of our workshops or webinars!

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