The SIENNA project

The SIENNA project is a European Commission-funded project in the Horizon 2020 programme with a budget of € 4.0 million and a running time of 3 ½ years (October 1, 2017 – April 1, 2021).  It is carried by a consortium of thirteen organizations from the European Union and other parts of the world, and is coordinated by the University of Twente (Philip Brey).  It is also supported by major stakeholder organisations such as UNESCO, Council of Europe, World Health Organisation, IEEE and others.  It aims to promote enhanced consideration of ethical and human rights issues in new and emerging technologies with major socio-economic impact and human rights relevance. 

 

To this effect, the project will produce a stakeholder-informed ethical, legal and human-rights analysis of three such technologies or fields: human genomicshuman enhancement and artificial intelligence and robotics.  The aim of this analysis is to develop ethical frameworks that address major present and future ethical issues in these three fields. The ethical frameworks will take into account present and plausible future development of these fields, existing legal and ethical frameworks, and stakeholder and public opinion, including the public’s acceptance and awareness of these technologies.  Large-scale opinion surveys will be performed in eleven countries, and panels of citizens will be conducted in five, to find out about public opinion.

Secondly, the project will endeavour to translate and adapt these ethical frameworks, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, so as to produce four practical tools and resources for each technology: (a) operational guidelines for research ethics committees for these technologies, (b) codes of responsible conduct for researchers who develop these technologies, (c) proposals for revisions of existing ethical frameworks, and (d) proposals for revisions of existing legal frameworks, all of which should have acceptance and approval of relevant stakeholders.

 

Third, the project will generalise the approaches for developing, translating and adapting ethical frameworks that were established in the project so that they can be applied to other new and emerging technologies.