Ethics, Human Rights & Emerging Technologies

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, methods and instruments proposed by SIENNA. The project is also leaving a legacy of reports and publications in scientific journals, and there are more to come! Some of our results have contributed to the development of a series of policy briefs for European and national policy makers. As the project came to an end, we also participated in the European Parliament's STOA panel's workshop on policy options for the ethical governance of disruptive technologies.

SIENNA Final conference

The video is available for those who are interested in the more general results, and those specific to human genetics and genomics, technologies that can be used to enhance human abilities, artificial intelligence and robotics. We have also provided summaries of our recommendations in a series of policy briefs, and a two minute video version. Results have also been shared in a series of public deliverable reports, and several publications in scientific journals.

Human enhancement

On 11 March, we discussed the ethical challenges of emerging human enhancement technologies, and assessed the current state of the field. We also considered the steps that should be taken to meet ethical challenges in the future. We presented and discussed the new SIENNA-initiated ethics guidelines for human enhancement, the first extended set of guidelines for human enhancement research, development and use that have been proposed.

We also discussed new policy initiatives that are needed for responsible innovation of human enhancement technologies. This includes proposals for a European expert body to assess and guide social, ethical and regulatory aspects of human enhancement. We also highlighted our work on guidance for research funding and research ethics assessment, and flagged the need for further debate regarding the status of human enhancement in relation to the field of medicine.

Ethics guidelines

Yasemin J. Erden, Assistant Professor, University of Twente

Regulatory and policy recommendations

Konrad Siemaszko, Lawyer, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Promoting ethics for human enhancement technologies

SIENNA policy brief #5 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. This brief addresses the need for policies aimed at ethical guidance for research, development and deployment of human enhancement technologies.

Yasemin J. Erden, & Philip Brey. (2021, March 24). Promoting ethics for human enhancement technologies: SIENNA project Policy Brief #5 (Version 1.0). Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4633510

Download SIENNA brief #5

Ethics & human rights for new and emerging technologies

Ethics & human rights for new and emerging technologies: SIENNA project Policy Brief #4

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.

This policy brief presents key messages drawn from the EU-funded Horizon 2020 SIENNA project (2017-2021). SIENNA seeks to promote enhanced consideration of ethical and human rights issues in new and emerging technologies with major socio-economic impact and human rights relevance.

SIENNA project, Ethics & human rights for new and emerging technologies: SIENNA project Policy Brief #4. (Version 1.0) Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4590094

Download SIENNA brief #4

Last modified: 2021-03-26