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Anticipation of societal embedding of new and emerging technologies

Deliverable
Anticipation of societal embedding of new and emerging technologies: using scenarios to explore public awareness and attitudes in climate engineering, digital extended reality and neurotechnologies

Policy brief | 30 October 2023

In short

This deliverable sheds light on the intricate landscape of societal integration for new and emerging technologies like neurotechnology, digital extended reality, and climate engineering. Notably, the document delves into the public’s awareness and attitudes surrounding these technologies.

The findings underline the importance of anticipating societal responses to innovations, emphasizing values such as equity, reliability, and the well-being of both people and the planet. The document also advocates for justifying research and innovation investments by addressing the expectations, concerns, and aspirations of a vast array of stakeholder groups.

Find out more about our conclusions by downloading the deliverable.

Author

Eva Buchinger, Michael J. Bernstein, Masafumi Nishi, Wenzel Mehnert, and Alexandra Csabi.

Date of publication

20 November 2023

Status

Draft version submitted to the European Commission for review

Cite this resource

Buchinger E, Bernstein MJ, Nishi M, Mehnert W, Csabi A (2023). D3.4 Anticipation of societal embedding of new and emerging technologies: Using scenarios to explore public awareness and attitudes in climate engineering, digital extended reality and neurotechnologies. TechEthos Project Deliverable to the European Commission. Available at: www.techethos.eu.

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Newsletter #7: Spotlight on policy briefs & key messages on ethical governance for European policymakers

Newsletter #7
Spotlight on policy briefs & key messages on ethical governance

News | 17 may 2023

In short

Welcome to the seventh instalment of the TechEthos newsletter. In this issue, we share new policy briefs with key messages on ethical governance of our three technology families in focus: Climate Engineering, Neurotechnologies, and Digital Extended Reality. These are the results of the social, ethical, and legal analyses conducted in the TechEthos project. 

Date of publication

7 November 2023

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XR and General Purpose AI: from values and principles to norms and standards

Policy brief
XR and General Purpose AI: from values and principles to norms and standards

Policy brief | 30 October 2023

In short

This policy brief explores the ethical challenges of eXtended Reality (XR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) within the expansive realm of General Purpose Artificial Intelligence (AI).

This brief, addressed to EU policymakers and global stakeholders, delves into human-machine dynamics, ethical data usage, and the urgent need for operational norms and standards in the AI domain.

The document offers important recommendations to enhance ethical practices concerning these emerging technologies and addresses issues like transparency, manipulation risks, user dignity, responsibility, autonomy levels, equitable labor conditions, decency in Generative AI, environmental impacts, and privacy concerns.

Find out more about each recommendation by downloading the policy brief below.

Author

Laurynas Adomaitis (CEA), Alexei Grinbaum (CEA).

Date of publication

06 November 2023

Cite this resource

TechEthos (2023) XR and General Purpose AI: from values and principles to norms and standards. Deliverable to the European Commission. Available at: www.techethos.eu.

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Key messages for the ethical governance of Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) research

Policy brief
Key messages for the ethical governance of Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) research

Policy brief | 30 October 2023

In short

Solar Radiation Modification (SRM), a type of climate engineering technique aimed at mitigating atmospheric heating by reflecting sunlight and heat back into space.

Tailored for EU policymakers and global stakeholders, this policy brief emphasizes ethical governance, international collaboration, and public engagement in SRM research.

To ensure responsible, just and sustainable SRM research, TechEthos project encourages EU policymakers to:

  • Define SRM Field Testing, Deployment, and SRM Research on an international level;
  • Formulate transparent and accountable EU Research Policy through politically legitimate bodies;
  • Adopt a precautionary approach guided by ethical considerations when assessing the risks of SRM research policy programs;
  • Include normative values like legitimacy and global justice in assessing SRM implications for human rights.

Find out more about each recommendation by downloading the policy brief below.

Author

Bennet Francis, Dominic Lenzi, Michel Bourban.

Date of publication

30 October 2023

Cite this resource

TechEthos (2023) Key messages for the ethical governance of Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) research. Deliverable to the European Commission. Available at: www.techethos.eu.

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Key messages for the ethical governance of neurotechnologies

Policy brief
Key messages for the ethical governance of neurotechnologies

Policy brief | 30 October 2023

In short

Neurotechnologies, delving into direct neural system interaction, needs ethical governance. This policy brief outlines recommendations for EU policymakers involved in legislation on neurotechnologies, medical devices, dual-use items, privacy, data protection, and AI systems.

To ensure ethical, legal, and fundamental rights in neurotechnology development, this brief details the following key messages:

  • Recognize and define neurorights by incorporating them within existing EU fundamental frameworks;
  • Address justice, equality, and discrimination gaps in relation to neurotechnology applications and use cases;
  • Monitor and evaluate regulatory frameworks by assessing adequacy of existing regulations for emerging neurotechnology use cases, including consumer and dual-use applications;
  • Consider Appropriate Legal Instruments to regulate neurotechnologies in the EU;
  • Clarify regulation of AI-based neurotechnologies, specifically addressing use cases under the proposed AI Act.

Find out more about each recommendation by downloading the policy brief below.

Author

Michael J. Bernstein, Wenzel Mehnert, Masafumi Nishi, Renata Mandzhieva, Alexandra Csabi, Eva Buchinger.

Date of publication

30 October 2023

Cite this resource

TechEthos (2023) Key messages on ethical values and principles for neurotechnology development and use. Deliverable to the European Commission. Available at: www.techethos.eu.

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Key messages for the ethical governance of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

Policy brief
Key messages for the ethical governance of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

Policy brief | 30 October 2023

In short

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) is a pivotal climate engineering technique aiming to mitigate climate change by removing atmospheric CO2 and storing it in geological, terrestrial, or oceanic reservoirs. TechEthos, in its policy brief, delves into the regulatory challenges within EU laws and policies surrounding CDR. Addressed to European Union (EU) policymakers and officials engaged in climate-related initiatives, the recommendations are crafted to ensure ethical, rights-based, and sustainable development of CDR.

To ensure it, TechEthos project encourages EU policymakers to:

  • Define the legal status of carbon removals, distinguishing them from emission reductions;
  • Advocate for harmonized terms, aligning with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for clarity in discussions on climate engineering, geoengineering, carbon removal, and CDR;
  • Seek clarity on CDR’s role in achieving the EU’s binding net-zero target by 2050;
  • Explicitly include EU fundamental rights in policies and decision-making processes governing CDR techniques;
  • Outline sustainability requirements for CDR, aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the EU Taxonomy Regulation, and the Carbon Removal Certification Framework (CRCF) initiative;
  • Promote international collaboration for standardized removal accounting to prevent double counting, ensuring global enforcement;
  • Review the adequacy of environmental liability regimes concerning CDR activities, including research and deployment.

Find out more about each recommendation by downloading the policy brief below.

Author

Bennet Francis, Dominic Lenzi, Michel Bourban.

Date of publication

30 October 2023

Cite this resource

TechEthos (2023) Key messages for the ethical governance of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). Deliverable to the European Commission. Available at: www.techethos.eu.

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Complementing the ALLEA European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity

Deliverable
Complementing the ALLEA European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity

Deliverable | 28 October 2023

In short

This report presents the views of the TechEthos consortium partners (collected both in writing and in an online workshop) to provide further feedback for the revision of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.

The feedback of the TechEthos consortium did not only serve as an input on broad research integrity issues. It also allowed for the collection of critical opinions on the ethical, legal, and societal aspects related to the development and application of new technologies, as well as on the responsible use of new technologies in collecting, analysing, and publishing research results.

The full version of the European Code of Conduct, as well as a document that summarizes the stakeholder consultation process and its outcomes, can be accessed directly via https://allea.org/code-of-conduct/.

Authors

Hiney M. (ALLEA), Vleugel M. (ALLEA).

Date of publication

30 October 2023

Status

Draft version submitted to the European Commission for review

Cite this resource

Maura Hiney & Mathijs Vleugel (2023). TechEthos Deliverable D5.5: Complementing the ALLEA European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. TechEthos Project Deliverable. Available at: www.techethos.eu.

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Criteria for ethical review by RECs in emerging technology research

Deliverable
Criteria for ethical review by RECs in emerging technology research

Deliverable | 28 October 2023

In short

This deliverable underlines the complexities of ethical review processes within Research Ethics Committees (RECs) concerning emerging technologies like neurotechnology (NT), digital extended reality (DXR), and climate engineering (CE).

Thanks to a comprehensive methodology involving literature review, REC member surveys, and expert workshops, the report identifies critical challenges faced by RECs. These challenges comprise both structural aspects (e.g., limitations in scope and expertise) and topical elements (including the assessment of fairness, autonomy, and private sector involvement)

The document provides vital recommendations aimed at enhancing REC capabilities and promoting ethical research practices in the realm of new and emerging technologies.

Authors

Carly Seedall (EUREC Office), Tom Lindemann (EUREC), Renate Klar (EUREC), Lisa Tambornino (EUREC).

Date of publication

28 October 2023

Status

Draft version submitted to the European Commission for review

Cite this resource

Seedall, C., Lindemann, T., Klar, R., Tambornino, L., (2023). Criteria for ethical review by RECs in emerging technology research. TechEthos Project Deliverable. Available at: www.techethos.eu.

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Suggestions for the revision of existing operational guidelines for emerging technologies

Publication
Suggestions for the revision of existing operational guidelines for climate engineering, neurotechnologies, and digital XR technologies

Deliverable | 20 July 2023

In short

This report scrutinizes current ethical guidelines for three new and emerging technologies (Climate Engineering Technologies, Digital Extended Reality, and Neurotechnologies) and proposes targeted improvements – based on the technology functions, applications, and socio-economic impacts.

The document proposes a series of key recommendations that can be used for proposed improvements to guidelines.

  • Bespoke Governance: Establish relevant administrative bodies for guideline application, with training and support.
  • Diverse Stakeholder Participation: Facilitate engagement across stakeholders, fostering co-creation and co-decision making.
  • Impact Testing: Assess guideline efficacy with real-world examples to ensure practical outcomes.
  • Inter-Sector Skills Exchange: Institutionalize collaboration between technology providers and policymakers.
  • Responsibility to the Future: Prioritize responsible forecasting, ethical defensibility, and sustainability.
  • Social and Communicative Awareness: Cultivate social awareness among developers, enhancing accessibility and feedback.

Find out more about each recommendation by downloading the policy brief below.

Author

Sara Cannizzaro (DMU), Laurence Brooks (DMU), Kathleen Richardson (DMU), Nitika Bhalla (DMU), Bennet Francis (UT), Dominic Lenzi (UT)

Date of publication

30 September 2023

Status

Draft version submitted to the European Commission for review

Cite this resource

Cannizzaro, S., Bhalla, N., Brooks, L., Richardson, K., Francis, B. and Lenzi, D. (2023), TechEthos Deliverable D5.3: Suggestions for the revision of existing operational guidelines for climate engineering, neurotechnologies and digital XR technologies. Available at www.techethos.eu

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Y/our Ethics Decide! Discover TechEthos installation

Y/our Ethics Decide! Discover TechEthos innovative installations
26 October 2023

Authored by: Giuseppe Loveno Garofalo
Reviewed by: Greta Alliaj

News | 26 October 2023

In the rapidly evolving landscape of new and emerging technologies, TechEthos is set to captivate audiences across Europe with a series of original installations, focusing on two technology families: Digital Extended Reality and Climate Engineering. Designed to leave an indelible mark on diverse audiences, starting from October, these interactive experiences will be displayed in the six science engagement organisations involved in the project. Whether visitors are experts in the field, teachers, students, or the general public, the goal is to foster a deep understanding of the ethical considerations that support the development, deployment, and impact of TechEthos technology families.

Building on the project’s Ethics by Design approach, the installation reflects the attitudes, concerns and values shared by the different stakeholders’ groups involved in the project. By emphasizing critical thinking, responsible research, and awareness of innovation’s impact, we aim to make the complex world of emerging technologies relatable, personal, and empowering to the public.

Through our installations, we invite you to explore the interactive displays, reflect on your values and be part of the conversation. Our well-thought and attractive design will serve as a gateway to a world where ethics should not be an afterthought but an integral part of technological progress. For a more interactive experience, the TechEthos setups incorporate digital elements like stand-alone screens and hands-on activities. Designated discussion corners will invite visitors to investigate deeper technology-related issues, fostering an environment of engagement and critical discourse. Workshops and conferences, featuring guest experts, add another layer to the overall experience.

News | 26 October 2023   

Until December 17, the Center for the Promotion of Science gives the opportunity to learn more about the functioning of chatbots, and the social and ethical challenges brought by emerging technologies, like natural language processing (University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy)

TechEthos installations are not just exhibits — they are gateways to an ideal future where technology and ethics converge. Do not just witness the future, but contribute to shaping it at a TechEthos installation near you!

Check out the upcoming installations

  • Romania, Bucharest – National Museum of Geology – October 2023
  • Liberec, Czechia – iQLANDIA – November 2023
  • Belgrade, Serbia – University of Belgrade: Faculty of Philosophy – October-December 2023
  • Austria, Vienna – ScienceCenter Network – September-December 2023
  • Granada, Spain – Parque de las Ciencias – November-April 2023
  • Umeå, Sweden – Curiosum Science Centre – November 2023

Are you looking forward to learning more about emerging technologies? Get to know the science engagement organisations behind our installations.

Too far from our installations? Embark on Y/our Ethics Digital Installation here!

To learn more about TechEthos follow the project on Twitter and LinkedIn,  and sign up to the project newsletter. By joining the online community, you will be first in line to discover the technologies the project selects as the focus of its work and contribute to shaping the technologies of the future.

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