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News from the SIENNA project


  • SIENNA ethics guidelines for human enhancement R&D
    The SIENNA project's ethical guidelines for human enhancement research and development have just been published in Science. They cover a broad range of interventions, drugs, treatments and other technologies that can improve human abilities, that fall outside the scope of medical interventions.
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  • Data sharing in genomics: SIENNA's proposal for an international Code of Conduct
    The SIENNA project's proposal for an international Code of Conduct for data sharing in genomics was recently published in Developing World Bioethics. Want to know more? 
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  • Final SIENNA deliverables now available!
    Want to take a look at our ethical frameworks for AI & Robotics, Human Enhancement and Genetics & Genomics? The last of the SIENNA project's reports were recently made public on Zenodo and are now available for download!
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  • SIENNA awarded WSIS prize
    SIENNA was announced a champion project at the World Summit on the Information Society prizes award ceremony on 31 May 2022. The WSIS Prizes contest was developed after requests from stakeholders to create a mechanism to evaluate projects and activities that have leveraged the power of information and communication technologies to advance sustainable development in different ways. 
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  • SIENNA policy briefs in Greek
    The SIENNA project has issued a series of policy briefs that have now been translated to Greek!
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  • Shifting AI ethics from high-level principles to socio-political context
    Ethical principles alone are poorly equipped to engage with and address the impacts of artificial intelligence (AI). Whether it be material impacts or the generation of socio-political issues, high-level ethical principles don’t always offer the tools needed to address them. In a recent Open Research Europe paper, SIENNA’s Anaïs Resseguier and Rowena Rodrigues advocate for AI ethics that pays attention to context.  
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  • Ethical governance of disruptive technologies
    The European Parliament STOA panel organised a workshop on 23 March that took its point of departure from current discussion and legislative agenda in relation to artificial intelligence. Together with the SHERPA and PANELFIT projects, SIENNA helped move the discussion beyond AI to find out how can we build on what was learned from that discourse to prepare for the next wave of scientific and technological advances. Miss the workshop? The event was recorded and is now available for everyone to watch!
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  • TechEthos: New project using ethics to shape technology of the future
    Technological developments and breakthroughs often bring shocking and spectacular changes to society. Highly complex, disruptive and transformative, they challenge human values, freedoms and societies. To maximise the benefit for society and minimise potential harms, we need to understand and address the ethical and social implications of new and emerging technologies. Making sure we are not forgetting marginalised and vulnerable populations. As the SIENNA project ends, a new Horizon2020 project begins. Building on our results to bring ethical and societal values into the design and development of new and emerging technologies. Want to know more? We suggest you sign up to the TechEthos newsletter and follow them on Twitter!
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  • Promoting ethics for human enhancement technologies
    Some human enhancement is controversial socially and morally. They promise the advancement of humanity, but also introduce serious risks to health and well-being, freedom, and equality. Human enhancement research and development can be missed in ethical and legislative review. The field is broad, and enhancement potential can be difficult to predict, especially if such potential is not actively sought. In all cases, guidance is needed. The SIENNA project just published a policy brief that aims to addresses the need for policies aimed at ethical guidance for research, development and deployment of human enhancement technologies.
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  • Addressing societal concerns in public research funding
    On 5 March 2021, the SIENNA project organised a webinar to present and discuss outcomes from our work on addressing societal concerns in public research funding. Miss the webinar? Don't worry, a recording of the presentation by Nicole Santiago is now available!
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  • Ethics, Human Rights & Emerging Technologies: SIENNA final conference recording available!
    The SIENNA project ended on 31 March 2021. The results of our 3,5 year project were presented at a three day conference: Discussing the ethical and human rights issues raised by emerging technologies, and the methods and instruments propose to govern need for ethical guidance and governance of emerging technologies. We have recorded our presentations on regulation, innovation policies, research ethics frameworks, Ethics by Design methodologies, education and training progammes, standards, and certification. Did you miss the event? Don't worry! We recorded it!
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  • Joint SIENNA/SHERPA/HBP webinar 30 March: Trust and Transparency in Artificial Intelligence
    Trust and transparency in artificial intelligence (AI) are hotly debated themes and central to the responsible governance of this expanding technology field. The Ethics and Society Subproject of the Human Brain Project (HBP) has developed an Opinion to further the debate on key ethical and social issues that arise from the use of AI. It draws on findings from social science and humanities research, including a series of consultancies, webinars and workshops with citizens, scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders.
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  • What a well-regulated AI and robotics world would look like
    In the SIENNA Final Conference on 11 March 2021, we facilitated a session on AI and robotics: regulatory and policy recommendatiions. The session was led by Rowena Rodrigues form Trilateral Research and covered SIENNA legal analysis work for AI and robotics and our recommendations. SIENNA’s objective in its legal analysis work and recommendations is to support and ensure ethical and human-rights respectful ​design, development, deployment and use ​of AI and robotics technologies​. During the session, we asked our audience to share their views live with us on two questions. Curious about the results?
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  • Ethics & human rights for new and emerging technologies: Take home messages from the SIENNA project
    Human genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics offer benefits for both individuals and society. But these technologies also challenge human rights and our notions of what is ethical. SIENNA has developed frameworks and proposals for the ethical management and legal regulation of human genetics and genomics, technologies for human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics. Interested to know more? We have published a policy brief summarising the key messages that can be drawn from the SIENNA project!
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  • Enhancing national legal frameworks for AI & robotics: SIENNA project Policy Brief #3
    National policy-makers should ensure that any changes in legislation responding to AI and robotics are fit for purpose and in accordance with the country’s international obligations, especially with regards to human rights and societal values. There is need for legal clarity and guidance.
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  • Policy options for the ethical governance of disruptive technologies: open STOA panel on 23 March
    We invite you to an online event that takes its point of departure from the current discussion and legislative agenda of AI. Focusing on issues and challenges in need of particular attention, and how can they be addressed: Moving beyond AI to find out how can we build on what was learned from that discourse to prepare for the next wave of scientific and technological advances. The SHERPA, SIENNA and PANELFIT projects have been involved in developing the programme and panels, and now we invite you to join the STOA panel on 23 March!.
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  • SIENNA webinar on societal concerns in public research funding
    Both public research funders and researchers have an obligation to the public to ensure that research has a positive impact on society, which includes addressing concerns and mitigating potential harm. Societal concerns about new and emerging technologies relate to ethical, human rights, and socio-economic impacts – many of which were identified in the SIENNA project. Join us online on Friday, March 5 at 13.30 CET to discuss methodology for identifying and addressing societal concerns in public research on new and emerging technologies!  
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  • Enhancing EU legal frameworks for genetics & genomics research: SIENNA project Policy Brief #2
    The existing EU legal frameworks are relevant for regulating human genomic technologies and should be able to cope with many of the challenges that they pose. However, SIENNA has identified various gaps and challenges that must be addressed in order to ensure ethical and human rights respectful design, development, deployment, and use of genomic technologies, On our recent policy brief, we list some of the urgent actions required and recommendations for the European Union institutions, and the Member States.
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  • Ethics self-assessment for genetic and genomic research
    Patients are key stakeholders in genomic research. On January 18, the SIENNA project organised a webinar to present our proposal for operational guidelines for ethical self-assessment of research in genetics and genomics. The webinar was designed to enable patient organisations, patient advocates, patients and their to give informed input in this process. A recording is now available on YouTube!
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  • Thank you for contributing in our public consultation process!
    Between 11-25 January the SIENNA project shared proposals for public consultation. The documents outline ways to suppor the ethical management of human genetics and genomics, technologies that can be used to enhance human abilities, artificial intelligence and robotics. The input will now feed into the reports we submit to the European Commission. Want to know more? Join us on 11-12 of March when we present the results from the project at our final conference!
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  • Save the Date for the SIENNA final conference: 10-12 March
    The SIENNA project is coming to an end. We invite you to an online event on 10-12 March where we will present and discuss our results and proposals for the ethical management of human genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics. And how the SIENNA approaches can be generalised to other new and emerging technlogies.
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  • Last chance to give input: public consultation ends 25 January!
    Monday 25 January is the last chance to give input in our public consultation on proposals for the ethical management of new and emerging technologies. Don't forget to submit your feedback on our documents!
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  • Enhancing EU legal frameworks for AI & robotics: SIENNA project Policy Brief #1
    In practice, existing EU legal frameworks like human rights, data protection, product liability and safety, are fully applicable and should be able to cope with the challenges posed by AI and robotics, and other emerging technologies. SIENNA has identified various gaps and challenges that must be addressed. In our first policy brief, we list some of the urgent actions required and make recommendations for European Union institutions. 
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  • SIENNA genomics public consultation: Webinar for patients and publics on 18 January
    Most genetic disorders are rare and research is necessary to develop treatments for future patients. The SIENNA project has developed stakeholder informed proposals for the ethical management of new and emerging technologies. One of these proposals is an operational guidance for ethical self-assessment of research in genetics and genomics. Patients are key stakeholders for this research. Therefore, the SIENNA project invites patient organisations, patient advocates, patients and their carers to a webinar explaining the proposal with the aim to ensure patients are able to give informed input in this process.
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  • Ethical framework for artificial intelligence and robotics
    In the past couple of years many national and international organisations issued ethics guidelines for artificial intelligence (AI).  But the efforts to address ethical issues in AI in other ways have not reached the same prominence.  In the SIENNA project, we have developed an ethical framework for AI and robotics that rests on a multistakeholder strategy that moves far beyond ethical guidelines. 
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  • Public consultation on ethical guidance for genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics
    New technologies challenge our notions of what is ethical. The SIENNA project has developed stakeholder informed proposals for the ethical development, deployment and use of new and emerging technologies. Between 11-25 January we invite you to a public consultation of a group of documents with concrete ethical guidance for human genetics and genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics! Want an invitation? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you receive information the minute the documents become available.
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  • Framework for ethical self-assessment in genomic research
    PhD students are expected to reflect on ethical aspects of their research projects. This requirement is stated in legal premises and regulatory frameworks for academic institutions around the world. When applying for research funding researchers are also expected to make an ethical assessment related to their proposed research project. SIENNA has developed an ethical framework for human genomics. This has been translated to operational guidelines for ethics self-assessment. On 11 January 2021, we invite you to take part in a public consultation. Want to know more? Sign up to receive the documents!
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  • Protecting the vulnerable from AI harms
    Applications that use artificial Intelligence are trained on large sets of data and often build on other systems. This means that any bias in the data can multiply across different AI applications and cause significant harms. A recent paper from SIENNA points to the legal and human rights implications of AI and calls for an agile approach, not just to AI development, but also to the laws that regulate technology. In her paper, Rowena Rodrigues issues a call to developers and legislators to pay attention to the impact of AI on vulnerable populations.
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  • Simple solutions to complex issues? Technology and the human brain
    Neurotechnological developments could shift focus away from complexity and careful consideration of the human condition. In a recent paper, SIENNA’s Yasemin J Erden writes about the convergence of neuroscience, neurotechnology, psychiatry, and artificial intelligence for diagnostic processes. And how taking an over-optimistic approach to technology developments might result in a simplistic view on complex issues like mental illness and psychiatric disorder. 
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  • Webinar on ethical guidelines for human enhancement on 14 December
    Education and exercise can enhance our abilities. So can technology: in the form of implants, drugs, genetic enhancement or machines. This comes with ethical, legal and social challenges. On 14 December, SIENNA invites you to participate in a webinar on ethical guidelines for technologies that can, or could, be used to enhance human abilities. 
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  • SIENNA responds to public consultation on children's rights in digital environments
    On 13 November 2020, we submitted our response to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) draft General Comment No. 25 on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment. Our key recommendation is to address children’s rights in relation to all digital technologies. Additional recommendations include adopting stronger ‘red lines’ on digital technologies that impact children, calling for AI that respects children’s rights, and addressing concerns related to digital inequality. 
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  • Time for ethical guidance for human enhancement?
    Until recently, human enhancement technologies were mostly science fiction. Today, implants, drugs and prosthetics are available to enhance human abilities. Despite intense discussions in society and academia, few efforts have been successful in establishing ethical guidance for the use and development of these technologies. Could now be a good time to develop such guidelines? SIENNA researchers are trying to find out. Curious? Download our report! 
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  • SIENNA response to the public consultation on UNICEF’s draft Policy Guidance on AI for Children
    On 16 October 2020, the SIENNA project submitted its response to the UNICEF public consultation on draft Policy Guidance on AI for children. Our key recommendations were to address concerns related to “digital inequality”, call for AI that respects human rights, and adopt a stronger stance on problematic technologies.
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  • SIENNA response to the French Committee for Digital Ethics public consultation on the ethics of conversational agents
    On 30 October 2020, the SIENNA project submitted its response to the French National Pilot Committee for Digital Ethics (CNPEN) public consultation on the ethics of conversational agents, what is more commonly known as 'chatbots'. Our key recommendations were to reduce the anthropomorphisation of chatbots and conduct impact assessments to identify risks and harms. 
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  • Ethical debates about genetic cognitive enhancement: Time to broaden the discussion
    SIENNA findings show that attitudes to human enhancement technologies and research on the genetics of human intelligence vary greatly across different economic, cultural, and social landscapes. One potential way to enhance human abilities, including our cognition, is by interfering in IVF processes. So far, the ethics debate has centred on gene editing using the CRISPR technique. However, there is not as much talk of embryo selection as a method for genetic human enhancement. In a recent publication, Marcelo de Araujo emphasises the need fill this gap. 
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  • Public awareness & perceptions of genetics and genomics
    Technology used in genetic and genomic research are slowly making their way from research to patients and consumers. This raises ethical, legal and social questions for both individuals and society. We asked 11,000 people in 11 countries about new and emerging technologies. On average, half of respondents were familiar with genetics and DNA. But despite saying they had heard or read about it, a large majority of them said that there is a need for better public understanding of genetics and genomics. Want to know more? Read our report! 
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  • Public awareness & perceptions of human enhancement technologies
    Implants, drugs, genetic enhancement and prosthetics can enhance human abilities. But using technology for human enhancement comes with ethical, legal and social challenges. As a society, we need to discuss the ethical questions of what is normal, what is natural, what is moral and what can be permitted. SIENNA asked 11,000 people in 11 countries what they think about technologies that can be used to improve human abilities. It turns out that South African, Greek and Brazilian respondents were most positive towards the use of different human enhancement technologies, while people in Germany, the US and France were more hesitant. Curious about what they think we should and should not enhance? Read our report! 
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  • People prefer robots that look different from them
    Robots and artificial intelligence have caught the public’s imagination. A survey of public attitudes to these technologies in eleven countries shows that people feel uncomfortable with robots that look and behave like humans. A study from the SIENNA project shows that people expect both society and their lives to change as a result of increased use of artificial intelligence and robotics. And they expect inequalities in society to increase with it. 
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  • Mapping the ethics of human genomic technologies
    SIENNA has carried out an extensive ethical analysis of human genetics and genomics. We have identified a number of ethical, legal, and social issues both relating to new and emerging technologies within the next 5-10 years. You will find them outlined in our ethical analysis report. 
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  • SIENNA submits response to the public consultation on the European Commission Inception Impact Assessment for regulation of Artificial Intelligence
    On 10 September 2020, the SIENNA project submitted its response to the European Commission public consultation on the Inception Impact Assessment for a regulation of artificial intelligence. Our key recommendation was to adopt an EU-level legislative instrument establishing mandatory requirements, complemented by a voluntary labeling scheme.
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  • Ethics as renewed clarity about new situations
    Artificial intelligence is developing faster than the ethical frameworks that regulate it. This requires AI ethics that can to adapt to the new and unexpected. Today, the Ethics Blog writes about a call by SIENNA researchers Anaîs Rességuier and Rowena Rodrigues to move from a legal notion of ethics to one that can adapt to new situations.
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  • Toothless ethics is an obstacle for the ethics of Artificial Intelligence
    Ethics has powerful teeth that are not used in the ethics of AI today. In a recently published paper in Big Data & Society, SIENNA’s Anaïs Resseguier and Rowena Rodrigues describe how the teeth of AI ethics are lost with the current “law conception of ethics”.
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  • SIENNA submits response the UNESCO Online Consultation: Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
    On 30 July 2020, SIENNA project submitted its response to the UNESCO Online Consultation on Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. We suggest bringing human rights to the fore and focusing on ethical principles that relate to the interaction between AI systems and their environment, including human beings.
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  • Research ethics codes and guidelines for human enhancement
    Although there are no international research ethics codes or guidelines for the broad overall topic of human enhancement, we have surveyed selected relevant codes and guidelines for technologies that can be used for this purpose. If you want to know more about specific angles on particular contexts, often national or focused on application areas, we are able to offer you a large body of codes and guidelines!
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  • SIENNA submits response the public consultation on the European Commission White Paper on AI
    On 13 June 2020, SIENNA project submitted its response to the European Commission public consultation on the White Paper on AI. Our key recommendation was to change the focus of the proposed regulatory framework. Instead of aiming at building consumers’ and businesses’ trust in AI in order to speed up the uptake of the technology, the objectives of the framework should be driven by fundamental rights and societal values.
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  • Webinar 1 July: Ethical analysis of AI & Robotics
    The SIENNA project recently published its key report “Ethical Analysis of AI and Robotics Technologies”. This 223 page report provides the most comprehensive and up to date overview of ethical issues in AI and robotics available today. Philip Brey, SIENNA coordinator will present the highlights in an open webinar on 1 July at 13:00 CEST!
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  • Legal requirements for human enhancement technologies
    Want to better understand legal developments and regulatory approaches related human enhancement? The SIENNA project has documented and delivered a critical assessment of the legal issues raised by human enhancement technologies in and outside the EU. We looked at the national, EU and international level. If you want an analysis of EU law and international and regional legal orders in relation to human enhancement, we suggest you download our report!
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  • SIENNA and SHERPA provide feedback on JURI report on a framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies
    On 22 May 2020, SIENNA and SHERPA projects, jointly provided feedback on the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs Draft report with recommendations to the Commission on a framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies (2020/2012(INL) based on the findings and results of the SHERPA and SIENNA EU-funded projects.
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  • Webinars 17 June: Enhancing legal frameworks
    We need expert and stakeholder input, because regulating new and emerging technologies raises questions that require broad discussion. The SIENNA project would like to invite join our webinars on 17 June 2020 to discuss how to enhance the legal frameworks for human genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics technologies. Depending on your area of interest, you can join one, two or all of them!
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  • Legal requirements for artificial intelligence and robotics
    The SIENNA project has documented and delivered a critical assessment of the legal requirements in relation to the use of artificial intelligence and robotics on the national, EU and international level. In the report, we identify the relevant international and regional law and discuss a range of legal and human rights issues. If you want an analysis of EU law and international and regional legal orders in relation to artificial intelligence and robotics, we suggest you download our report!
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  • Legal requirements for the use of human genomics technologies
    Want to know what is allowed? The SIENNA project has documented and delivered a critical assessment of the legal requirements in relation to human genomics in and outside the EU. The work includes human rights aspects and also some aspects of animal research as a stage in clinical research. In the report, we argue that a human rights framework may provide for an important point of reference for shaping future legal responses in the field.
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  • Research ethics codes and guidelines for genomics
    The SIENNA project conducted a survey of research ethics committee approaches and codes for human genomics. The survey was submitted to the European Commission in 2018, and lists a large body of codes and guidelines. We have now published the full report, and give you selection of guidelines that you might want to be aware of. 
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  • Research ethics codes and guidelines for artificial intelligence and robotics
    The SIENNA project conducted a survey of research ethics committee approaches and codes for artificial intelligence and robotics. The survey was submitted to the European Commission in 2018, and lists a large body of codes and guidelines. We have now published the full report, and give you selection of guidelines that you might want to be aware of. 
    Read more

  • COVID-19 and climate change: Why has the response been so different?
    COVID-19 emerging as a global threat has states and civil society to taking radical measures to limit its spread. But, in spite of mounting evidence that climate change will also have devastating consequences for humanity over the next decades, governments and civil society have been far less engaged in adopting effective measures to avert dangerous climate change. Why?
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  • Public online lecture on false messages and false messengers
    Fake news have been around for a long time. As part of a postgraduate course on information ethics and law, SIENNA’s Maria Bottis at the Ionian University is organising a public online lecture with Rafael Capurro starting from his recent paper “Pseudangelia - Pseudangelos: On False Messages and Messengers in Ancient Greece”.
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  • Gene editing in human embryos: What women are (not) informed about in consent forms
    When research poses health risks to research participants, it is important to make sure there is necessity and acceptability of that research. However, for germline gene editing, there is no clear medical need. In a recent paper in the CRISPR journal, Emilia Niemiec and Heidi C. Howard argue that this raises questions about undue incentives to participate in research. 
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  • Genomics and public health
    Many applications of genomic technologies raise ethical issues. Emilia Niemiec and Heidi Howard highlight some of them in a chapter in a recent book on applied genomics and public health. They underline the need for education and research on ethical aspects of new genomic technologies. They also highlight the potential of genomic technologies and the problems they introduce.
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  • AI and robotics adverse impacts – how resilient or vulnerable are we?
    Individuals and society benefit from advances in human genomics, human enhancement, AI and robotics technologies. But these technologies present ethical challenges and have the potential to challenge our values, way of living and adversely affect human rights.
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  • SIENNA legal analysis webinar on 5 March!
    The SIENNA project has produced a legal analysis of issues and human rights challenges of artificial intelligence, robotics, human enhancement and human genomics technologies and studies of how they are handled in different jurisdictions. We now invite you to hear a presentation of the results in a webinar on 5 March 2020, at 2PM Central European Time! 
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  • Into human enhancement? SIENNA newsletter out today!
    SIENNA has published a state-of-the-art review on human enhancement technologies. If you want to read about it, download it, and find out what else we have done and haven’t received the e-mail, you are not on our list. So go ahead and sign up to find out what we do! (or read it by clicking the link below).
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  • State-of-the-art review of human enhancement
    The SIENNA team working on the ethical, legal and human rights issues of human enhancement technologies finished their state-of-the-art review of the field. The report offers overviews of the philosophical debate around the issue, of the existing and expected applications, and a socio-economic impact assessment of human enhancement technologies. SIENNA researchers also identified six subcategories of enhancement, all of which you can read about in the state-of-the-art report that is now available for download on the SIENNA website!
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  • A new era for DNA testing requires new regulation
    The European regulatory landscape is a patchwork, where policymakers and scientists work to harmonize regulations at different levels: international, the EU and in the member states. A recent article published in Politico writes that online commercial DNA testing companies have the upper hand in the EU. Partly because the fragmented regulation is difficult to enforce.
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  • US White House issues set of binding AI principles for agency regulators
    The US White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued what they call a "first of its kind" set of principles that federal agencies have to meet when they draft AI regulations. The public will now have 60 days to comment.
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  • SIENNA: plans for 2020
    The SIENNA project wishes you happy holidays! In 2020, we will us the data we have collected so far to develop ethical frameworks for Human Genomics, Human Enhancement, AI and Robotics. Our work will also be translated to guidelines for researchers and innovators in industry and academia, protocols and operational guidelines for research ethics committees, recommendations for better legislation, and more!
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  • Greek law on Human Enhancement
    Like in many other countries, there are no specific laws relating to human enhancement technologies in Greece. However, there is more general legislation that can be applied to human enhancement. Because of this lack of legislation, the Greek Commission on Bioethics has issued two separate Opinions on Human Enhancement. In a pre-print article in SSRN, SIENNA legal scholar Maria Canellopoulou-Bottis from the Ionian University in Greece presents the Greek law on human enhancement.
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  • Presenting our work for the European Commission!
    Today, work package and task leaders from the SIENNA project are in Brussels to present our work to the H2020 project officer and an expert external reviewer. We are looking forward to this opportunity to review what we have done so far, and receiving feedback to improve what we do in the future.
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  • SIENNA, PANELFIT and SHERPA: New video on three H2020 projects working together
    New technology benefits individuals & society. It also challenges our notions of what is ethical. Three H2020 projects have joined forces to improve ethical, human rights & legal frameworks: SHERPA, PANELFIT and SIENNA. We just launched a new video to show how we explore the ethical, legal and human rights questions that information & communication technologies, big data, artificial intelligence and smart information systems raises, for example in relation to data commercialization, cybersecurity and consent.
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  • SIENNA and SHERPA training on ethics and artificial intelligence for European Commission
    On November 26, the SIENNA and SHERPA projects are invited to organize an interactive workshop for the European Unions’ different research funding schemes. The workshop is called “Ethics and Artificial Intelligence: Foreseeing the Impact and Shaping the Future” and will present findings from both projects. The focus is on the different ethical dimensions and impact of AI on the future of our society, legal- and ethical frameworks.
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  • Into AI & robotics? SIENNA newsletter out today!
    SIENNA has published a state-of-the art review on artificial intelligence and robotics. If you want to read about it, download it, and find out what else we have done in the last six months and haven't received the e-mail, you are not on our list. So go ahead and sign up to find out what we do! (or read it by clicking the link below).
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  • State-of-the-art review of AI and robotics complete!
    The SIENNA team working on ethical, legal and human rights issues of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have conducted a state-of-the-art review of the fields of AI and robotics. The report is now available for download! It offers a thorough analysis of the central concepts, the history, the present and expected technologies and applications of AI and robotics, as well as a socio-economic impact assessment of current and expected technologies used in both fields. The analysis is based on a thorough literature review. We also did interviews with, and received commentaries from, field experts.
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  • Egg donation for gene editing in embryos expose women to health risks
    Current gene editing approaches allow for precise modification of DNA. These could potentially be used to correct disease-causing genes in human embryos.To evaluate the safety and efficacy of this approach, a large number of studies would be needed. To create embryos for this purpose, women have to donate eggs. In a recent Nature correspondence, two researchers from Uppsala University, Emilia Niemiec and Heidi Howard, draw attention to the health risks associated with egg donation in this context. 
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  • Should political ads be banned on social media?
    Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsay announced that Twitter is banning political advertising on their platform. In the announcement, Dorsey writes that our democratic system might not be ready for machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. Al Jazeera reached out to SIENNA coordinator Philip Brey to get his view on the subject. 
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  • AI and robotics from a Spanish point of view
    Developments in artificial intelligence and robotics are changing societies and affecting human rights. These technologies are expected to be the greatest money makers of the 21st century. Spain cannot turn its back on the expected financial and societal gains from AI and robotics development. So writes SIENNA's Javier Valls Prieto in a Spanish language blog post in The Conversation. 
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  • SIENNA at ENERI final conference
    The ENERI project is coming to an end. On October 28-29, they will bring together leading ethics experts, researchers, policy makers, representatives from industry, research funding organisations, civil society and other stakeholders to disseminate the concepts and products developed during the three-years term of the project. SIENNA will be represented in a panel with other SwafS RE and RI projects.
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  • Planning for the future!
    Planning for the future and moving the project forward. 24-25 September, we met in Paris to discuss SIENNA impact and sustainability... Have a look below to learn what we talked about! 
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  • From data collection and analysis to frameworks and codes
    Right now, members of the SIENNA consortium are meeting in Paris to decide how we move from collecting and analysing data to developing ethical frameworks and codes. We will also discuss how to ensure that we deliver outputs that stakeholders in human genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics both want and are able to use.
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  • #HumanAI: New UNESCO video about the ethics of AI
    Following #HumanAI? Take the opportunity to find out more about the work beind the hastag! UNESCO is celebrating 25 years of ethical reflection on bioethics and the ethics of science and Technology and have recenly released a new video about the ethics of AI: “Do You Know AI? Or AI Knows you Better? – Thinking Ethics of AI”.
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  • What happens with technical progress if we get AI ethics wrong?
    Right now, many governments and regulators struggle to keep up with how new technologies like artificial intelligence is developing. In the latest issue of the EU Research and Innovation Magazine Horizon, Professor Philip Brey, coordinator of the SIENNA project, and Berdnt Stahl, coordinator of the SHERPA project, share their thoughts on how geting AI ethics wrong could ‘annihilate technical progress’.
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  • Setting future ethical standards for ICT, Big Data, AI and robotics
    Policymakers struggle to assess the ethical, legal and human rights impacts of IT systems in research, industry, and at home. At the same time, research needs to be useful for industry, academia, and society to have impact on policy. The PANELFIT, SHERPA and SIENNA projects just published an editorial in Orbit to explain how we collaborate and work together with stakeholders to improve ethical, human rights and legal frameworks for information and communication technologies (ICT), big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.
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  • Now on YouTube: SIENNA, SHERPA & PANELFIT collaboration
    The SIENNA, SHERPA and PANELFIT webinar on May 20 2019 marked the start of an active European collaboration in the ethics, law and human rights of emerging digital technologies. Now you can watch it on YouTube! Learn about the projects' work on artificial intelligence (AI), big data, smart information systems (SIS), and information and communication technology (ICT) in general.
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  • Call for papers on Ethics by Design: Deadline extended to July 1
    The SIENNA and SHERPA projects are issuing a call for papers for a track on ethics by design at the 4TU Ethics Biannual Conference entitled "The Ethics of Disruptive Technologies" at TU/Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on November 7-8, 2019. Deadline for submission has been extended until July 1!
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  • Neuroenhancement of children and adolescents raises ethical questions
    How much should we be allowed to shape your children? And what are the ethical an social questions that arise from enhancing young people? Lately, discussions on “neuroenhancement” have become relevant, both in academia, medical practice and among the public. A recent book edited by Saskia Nagel offers a unique collection of articles on pediatric neuroenhancement.
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  • The underdog in the AI ethical and legal debate: human autonomy
    Advances in AI will have serious and lasting consequences for human autonomy. But does the increasing autonomy of machines necessarily imply a decreasing human autonomy? This week, SIENNA researchers Rowena Rodrigues and Anaïs Rességuier from Trilateral Research write about the underdog of the AI ethical and legal debate on the Human Brain Project's Ethics Dialogues blog.
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  • Want to know more about the ELSI of Human Enhancement? Connect to find out what we do!
    Education and exercise can enhance our abilities. So can technology: in the form of implants, drugs, genetic enhancement or machines. This comes with ethical, legal and social challenges. As a society, we need to discuss the ethical questions of what is normal, what is natural, what is moral and what can be permitted.
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  • Call for papers: Ethics by Design
    The SIENNA and SHERPA projects are issuing a call for papers for a track on ethics by design at the 4TU Ethics Biannual Conference entitled "The Ethics of Disruptive Technologies" at TU/Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on November 7-8, 2019. Deadline for submission extended until July 1.
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  • Interested in the ELSI of Human Genomics? Connect to find out what we do!
    New and improved technologies for genetic and genomic research are slowly making their way from research to patients and consumers. This raises ethical, legal and social questions for both individuals and society. Today, the SIENNA project sent our first update to stakeholders in Human Genomics. Not on our list? Sign up to find out what we do!
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  • Human Enhancement: legal analysis complete!
    SIENNA partners have completed their research on legal developments and human rights challenges related to human enhancement technologies. We have covered the legal developments on the international level and in the EU, and completed 12 country studies of the national level, looking at the relevant laws and human rights standards. 
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  • The right to science and human germline editing
    In a recently published article titled “The right to science and human germline editing. Sweden, its external commitments and the ambiguous national responses under the Genetic Integrity Act”, Santa Slokenberga and Heidi Carmen Howard argue this right to science should also include protection against scientific advancements with destructive implications for humans, their rights and humanity.
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  • Don't forget to register for the SIENNA-SHERPA-PANELFIT webinar on May 20!
    On Monday 20 May, 2019, three Horizon 2020 projects working with the ethical, legal and human rights aspects of different IT-technologies present in a joint webinar. Find out how we will contirbute to responsible AI, big data and data sharing.  
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  • Into AI & robotics? Connect to find out what we do!
    More and more people are interacting with robots, smart devices, intelligent software, prosthetics and implants. They are used in industry, the education system, health care, our homes, the entertainment industry and military applications. The potential benefits are abundant. However, there are considerable ethical and legal challenges. Today, the SIENNA project sent our first update to stakeholders in AI and robotics. Not on our list? Sign up to find out what we do!
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  • Legal analysis of genetics and genomics complete!
    The SIENNA project completed our research on the legal developments, issues and human rights challenges for human genetics and genomics. We have covered the legal developments in different international legal orders (UN, ASEAN, AU, CoE and OAS) and in the EU, and completed studies in 12 countries, where we have looked at relevant laws and human rights standards on the national level. 
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  • Public opinion surveys and panels complete!
    Besides input from experts, the SIENNA project is committed to include public opinion in our work. The results will inform the ethical evaluation and the development of ethics protocols and codes. On 27 April 2019, we ended our data collection. In all, we have completed telephone surveys with over 11,000 people in 11 countries and citizen panels in 5 countries. Now, the work to analyse the data begins.
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  • Law, AI and robotics: Legal analysis complete!
    SIENNA partners have completed their research on legal developments, issues and human rights challenges related to artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. We have covered the legal developments on the international level and in the EU, and completed 12 country studies of the national level, looking at the relevant laws and human rights standards. 
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  • Free on May 20? Find out more about SIENNA, SHERPA and PANELFIT!
    On May 20, 10 AM CET, the SIENNA, PANELFIT and SHERPA projects will explain what we do, where the overlaps are, and how we intend to work together to improve ethical, human rights and legal frameworks for artificial intelligence, big data, smart information systems, and ICT in general.
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  • Stakeholder and expert input to SIENNA's ethical analysis
    Today and tomorrow, SIENNA consortium members meet experts and stakeholders in Athens to discuss the project's approach to ethical analysis. Participants will discuss methods and approaches to integrate stakeholder perspectives and public opinion in ethical assessments of new technologies.
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  • Harnessing existing human rights jurisprudence to guide AI
    You don’t have to look too hard to become acutely aware of the potential dangerous effects of the development and use of algorithms and AI. It is already common knowledge that in the wrong or reckless hands these technologies may sway elections, lead to discrimination, and inhibit freedom of speech or access to information. It is then trite to say that algorithms and AI can pose serious challenges to individuals and the protection of their human rights.
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  • Applications, benefits and concerns of human enhancement
    Human enhancement is no longer science fiction. Developments in biomedicine and neuroscience demands practical discussion about its ethical, legal, and social implications. SIENNA uses a structured approach to examine the challenges to society. Check out our new infographic to find out more about the applications, benefits and concerns related to human enhancement technologies!
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  • Applications, benefits and concerns of human genomics
    Today, DNA can be “read” much faster and cheaper than just a decade ago. Genetic testing can reveal information about the health of adults, children, and foetuses. At the same time, another new technology for gene editing has become available: CRISPR/Cas9, that allows for modification of DNA in humans. Check out our new infographic to find out more about the applications, benefits and concerns related to human genetics and genomics!
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  • Human genomics: New project video!
    Genome' is a word for all our DNA. DNA information can tell us about our health. It can help us diagnose a disease, help prevent future ones, and tell us about the health of our relatives. Scientists study our DNA, and have tools that can modify it. Want to know more? Check out our new video clip!
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  • Recap of Human Genomics foresight workshop
    On 18 January, the SIENNA project arranged a foresight workshop on human genetics and genomics. Stakeholders and experts spent the day discussing the future ethical and impacts. A short report is coming, but for anyone interested, a recap of the event is available on Twitter.
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  • Recap of Human Enhancement foresight workshop
    On 16-17 January, the SIENNA project arranged a foresight workshop on human enhancement. Stakeholders and experts spent one and a half days discussing the future ethical and impacts. A short report is coming, but for anyone interested, a recap of the event is available on Twitter.
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  • Recap of AI & Robotics foresight workshop
    On 15-16 January, the SIENNA project arranged a foresight workshop on artificial intelligence and robotics. Stakeholders and experts spent one and a half days discussing the future ethical and impacts. A short report is coming, but for anyone interested, a recap of the event is available on Twitter.
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  • Call for papers: Ethics and Human Rights in Smart Information Systems
    Interested in the ethics and human rights issues in smart information systems? Join the SHERPA, SIENNA. PANELFIT, ORBIT projects and others in the IEEE Smart World Conference forum thisyear! Call for papers closing 26 April 2019.
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  • Tell us what you think are the important future technologies in human genomics!
    We want to know what you think are the most important upcoming technological developments in the field of human genetics and genomics? The technologies can be in any stage of development: as ideas, under development or in an initial stage of implementation. Answer our survey by Thursday 17 January!
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  • Season's greetings from SIENNA
    Happy holidays from the SIENNA consortium partners in the Netherlands, China, Germany, Brazil, Poland, Greece, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Sweden, and our associate partners in Japan and the US.
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  • Stakeholder input to SIENNA: Foresight
    In January 2019, SIENNA is organising three foresight workshops to discuss risks, impacts and ethical issues of AI and robotics, human enhancement and genomics with invited stakeholders.
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  • Embedded EthiCS postdoc opportunity at Harvard University
    Want to help bring ethical reasoning into the computer science curriculum? Don't miss the embedded EthiCS postdoc opportunity at Harvard University! Apply by January 15.
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  • Looking for AI expertise!
    Are you an expert in artificial intelligence? The SIENNA project is looking for AI experts to interview for our foresight work. What do you believe is on the horizon?
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  • AI & Robotics: New project video
    We interact with machines, robots, smart devices, intelligent software, prosthetics & implants. Robots can perform human tasks on their own, and smart devices can operate autonomously. Or connect & work together. Watch our new YouTube video to find out how SIENNA will approach these issues!
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  • Collecting stakeholder input on legal aspects of Genomics, Human Enhancement, AI & Robotics
    On November 8-9, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights is hosting the second SIENNA stakeholder workshop. This time covering the legal aspects of genomics, human enhancement, AI & Robotics.
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  • Law Disrupted, Law Re-Imagined, Law Re-Invented
    SPEAKER: Roger Brownsword November 7th 6.30 PM Warsaw University, Lipowa 4 St. 
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  • Human Enhancement: Issues for SIENNA
    We can use technology to enhance different abilities: physical, emotional, cognitive, and moral. This challenges boundaries between treatment and enhancement, health and illness. Does this question human nature? Should some things remain unchanged? Or is it human to enhance? Watch our new video to find out more!
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  • SIENNA infographic on AI and robotics
    Artificial intelligence and robotics will significantly impact society, values and human rights. What will change for the better, and what will change for the worse? Which values could change and who will be most affected? SIENNA's new infographic on AI and robotics tells us what to expect. 
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  • SIENNA - soon in your langauge!
    The SIENNA project has partners from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Right now, we are working to make information about the project available in different languages to help partners communicate about our work.  
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  • The SIENNA project in Spanish
    Speak Spanish? SIENNA has developed a video about the project for Spanish audiences. Follow the SIENNA Technology, ethics and human rights channel on YouTube for more videos!
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  • Fostering cooperation and finding synergies
    SIENNA's Coordinator Philip Brey and Deputy Coordinator Rowena Rodrigues represented the SIENNA project at the European Cluster Event on ‘Research Ethics and Research Integrity Projects’, organised by the European Commission in Brussels on 1 June 2018.
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  • SIENNA underscores major issues of big data and AI at SHERPA workshop
    On 3 May 2018, the EU-funded H2020 SHERPA project organised a workshop on “AI and Big Data: Ethical and Human Rights implications” at the Press Club Brussels Europe. At the meeting, SIENNA’s coordinator Philip Brey shared insights from our ongoing research on big data and artificial intelligence.
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  • Brazilian perspectives on ethics and new technology
    In December 2017, the quarterly magazine Rio Pesquisa invited two Brazilian SIENNA researchers to talk about their participation in the project. Here, Marcelo de Araujo, Professor of Philosophy of Law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, gives a short English summary.
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  • Let us know what you think about Human Enhancement
    What kind of impact will new technologies have on our lives? Will technolgy replace us, or give us new opportunities? Please help SIENNA by completing a survey about socio-economic impacts of human enhancement technologies. Let us know what you think by February 12!
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  • AI ethics, foresight and ethics by design: Digital Ethics Summit
    The Digital Ethics Summit held earlier this month focussed on AI ethics, foresight and ethics by design. The messages coming out of the summit are highly relevant for SIENNA. Here, SIENNA deputy coordinator Rowena Rodrigues gives an overview of the discussions.
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  • SIENNA at Brave New World conference
    How far do we want to go with human enhancement? Does Artificial Intelligence have rights? What is the future of democracy in this digital age? What do we think of helping nature with artificial evolution? These are some of the questions asked at the Brave New World conference, where SIENNA coordinator Philip Brey addressed the ethics of new technology.
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  • ETHICS BLOG: Ethics, human rights and responsible innovation
    It is difficult to predict the consequences of developing and using new technologies. We interact with smart devices and intelligent software on an almost daily basis. Some of us use prosthetics and implants to go about our business and most of us will likely live to see self-driving cars.
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  • SIENNA: Preparing the ground for responsible innovation
    Policy makers all over the world struggle to assess the ethical and human rights impact of new research in genetics and genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics. Researchers from four continents have teamed up in the SIENNA project to help improve existing ethical and legal frameworks. The project receives a financial contribution of just under €4 million from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
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  • SIENNA project kicks off
    On October 19-20 this year, the SIENNA project kicks off with a meeting at the University of Twente. Researchers from Europe, Asia, America and Africa come together to discuss the ethical, legal and human rights aspects of Human Enhancement, Human Genomics, AI & Robotics.
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  • European funding for research on ethical and legal aspects of new technologies
    In the upcoming decades, technology will change the world. One of the most important questions in this connection is, just how far do we want to go? Over the next three-and-a-half years, University of Twente researchers, together with counterparts from around the world, will be tackling that very question.
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