The interdisciplinary field of neurorobotics looks to neuroscience to overcome the limitations of modern robotics technology, to robotics to advance our understanding of the neural system’s inner workings, and to information technology to develop tools that support those complementary endeavours. The development of these technologies is still at an early stage, which makes them an ideal candidate for proactive and anticipatory ethical reflection. This article explains the current state of neurorobotics development within the Human Brain Project, originating from a close (...) collaboration between the scientific and technical experts who drive neurorobotics innovation, and the humanities and social sciences scholars who provide contextualising and reflective capabilities. This article discusses some of the ethical issues which can reasonably be expected. On this basis, the article explores possible gaps identified within this collaborative, ethical reflection that calls for attention to ensure that the development of neurorobotics is ethically sound and socially acceptable and desirable. (shrink)
The function of philosophy at the present time.--Nationality as an element in the evolution of philosophy.--Our present philosophical outlook.--Poetry and science, their contrasts and affinities.--The unseen root of ethics.--The correlation of the moral forces.--Corporate responsibility: France, and the Transvaal.--Practical ethics.--Philosophical societies in the universities of Scotland.--The formation of public opinion.--Desiderata in modern philosophy.--The ethics of criticism.
Purpose This paper aims to critically assess approaches to sex and gender in the Human Brain Project as a large information and communication technology project case study using intersectionality. Design/methodology/approach The strategy of the HBP is contextualised within the wider context of the representation of women in ICT, and critically reflected upon from an intersectional standpoint. Findings The policy underpinning the approach deployed by the HBP in response to these issues parallels Horizon 2020 wording and emphasises economic outcomes, productivity and (...) value, which aligns with other “equality” initiatives influenced by neoliberalised versions of feminism. Research limitations/implications Limitations include focussing on a single case study, the authors being funded as part of the Ethics and Society Subproject of the HBP, and the limited temporal period under consideration. Social implications The frameworks underpinning the HBP approach to sex and gender issues present risks with regard to the further entrenchment of present disparities in the ICT sector, may fail to acknowledge systemic inequalities and biases and ignore the importance of intersectionality. Shortcomings of the approach employed by the HBP up to March, 2018 included aspects of each of these risks, and replicated problematic understandings of sex, gender and diversity. Originality/value This paper is the first to use an intersectional approach to issues of sex and gender in the context of large-scale ICT research. Its value lies in raising awareness, opening a discursive space and presenting opportunities to consider and reflect upon potential, contextualised intersectional solutions to such issues. (shrink)