Neuroscience, robotics, AI and medical informatics: New insights with diversity & ethics

3rd HBP Curriculum Workshop Series - Research ethics and societal impact

26-27 September 2019 | Graz University of Technology, Austria

 

1st ethics workshop

 

FAQs & ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

You have to expect the following expenses:

  • Registration fee (€ 250.00)
  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast & dinner

What we cover: 

  • Lunch & coffee breaks
  • Up to 5 fee waivers
     

Find further information on the application process and support opportunities on the .

Graz has an airport which is served with regular flights from Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, and Zurich.

Graz is also easily reachable via trains of the austrian railways.

For public transport information please click here. Nearest tram station is "Neue Technik" tram line 6.

We strongly recommend that you invest in travel insurance and inform yourself about treatment and reimbursement conditions before travelling to Innsbruck, Austria. If you are a European citizen, you should bring your European Health Insurance Card, which is accepted in combination with an ID.
As health care and social security systems vary between EU countries, please check the details on unforeseen medical treatment abroad
Please note that you might have to contact your health insurer for authorisation before being treated at the hospital. 

Graz is a touristic city - also congresses and conferences round out the international character of Graz.

That make it sometimes more difficult to find a suitable hotel, especially in September, when conferences and congresses take place in large numbers.

Please, notice to book your hotel (and your flight) as possible as early.

To assist you to find a suitable hotel in Graz we want to suggest some hotels next to conference venue. Public transport is also available in Graz.

 

Our three suggestions:

 

Low Budget accommodation:

Jufa Hotel Graz

 

September in Graz is influenced by Humid Continental Mild Summer, but a wet all year climate. The average minimum temperature in Graz in September is 10.0°C. The amount of rain in September is normal with an average of 76mm. This month generally has very pleasant temperatures. The average maximum temperature lies around 20.0°C. 

EDUROAM is available at the venue.

  • Language:
    The official language in Austria is German. Foreign languages, particularly English, are widely understood and spoken.
     
  • Time zone:
    Graz is in the Central European Time Zone (CET = GMT / UCT + 1).
     
  • Electric current:
    Electricity is supplied at 230 volts (alternating current). Type F plugs (CEE 7/4, CEE 7/7) are used.
     
  • Tap water:
    Austria is famous for it's clean water so it is definitly safe to drink it directly out of the tap. 

Please note that the information provided on this site has been obtained from several different sources and therefore the organisers cannot accept any responsibility for errors therein.

Why are European and national funding agencies asking you to explain how you address ethics and diversity aspects like gender in your research? Because ethics, diversity and the “gender dimension in research and innovation is an added value in terms of excellence, creativity, and business opportunities […] It leads to an in-depth understanding of […] needs, behaviours and attitudes.”

(see http://ec.europa.eu/research H2020 Online Manual)

 

In this 2-day workshop, scientists from different fields like neuroscience, robotics, AI and medical informatics will provide you with insights on how they consider variables such as sex, gender, age etc. Additionally, experts in ethics and diversity will introduce you to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) concepts and their practical application.

This workshop addresses researchers and students who want to…

  • explore and make best use of gender and diversity in their field of expertise
  • get to know and apply RRI and ethical standards and useful tools for “Diversity in research”
  • share experiences and gain innovative insights from cross-science perspectives

 

Application deadline: 19 August 2019

 

APPLICATION

 

Poster session & student presentation
A poster session is organised during the workshop. If you want to present your research in the poster session, please submit an abstract with your application. By presenting a poster you have the chance to participate in a competition to win a special price.

One participant will get the opportunity to present their research in a 30-min student presentation. Participants can apply for this slot with a short research abstract (max. 2 pages). The best abstract will be selected based on the scientific quality and the consideration of diversity and ethics aspects. The winner will be informed as soon as possible after the application deadline. The participant selected to present their research will be listed as an ordinary speaker in the on-site programme.

 

PROGRAMME

The scientific programme is also available as PDF download: 
Icon Workshop Programme - Neuroscience, robotics, AI and medical informatics: New insights with diversity & ethics (714.5 KB)

 

Thursday 26 September 2019

Personalised whole-brain models: Capturing the human diversity in medical treatment and research | 60 min
Jan Fousek (Aix-Marseille University)
 

Robot Stereotypes - What you see is not what you get | 60 min
Benedikt Feldotto (Technical University of Munich)
 

Data protection and data ethics: Balancing big data and data-driven research | 60 min
Simisola Akintoye (De Montfort University, UK)
 

Research design: Exploring the diversity of research objects and target groups | 90 min
Karin Grasenick, Harald Kleinberger-Pierer (convelop cooperative knowledge design gmbh)
 

Societal impact through engagement of publics and experts in the HBP | 30 min
Sita Kotnis (The Danish Board of Technology Foundation)
 

Round table discussions | 60 min

 

Site visit | 105 min

Friday 27 September 2019

Neuroethics and philosophy in RRI | 60 min
Michele Farisco (Uppsala University)
 

The demystification of the robot: Why we need informed people and explainable machines | 60 min
Martina Mara (Johannes Kepler University Linz)
 

The role of gender in the multimodal characterisation of biological substrates of personality traits | 60 min
Alessandra Nostro (Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience)

 

The human brain project at the half-way point | 30 min
Alois Saria (Medical University Innsbruck)
 

Student presentations | 30 min
 

Poster session + poster award | 75 min
 

A look back and forward: Diversity and ethics in the history of science | 30 min
Harald Kleinberger-Pierer (convelop cooperative knowledge design gmbh)
 

Discussions | 30 min

This programme may be subject to change.

 

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Simisola Akintoye is the Interim Data Protection Officer for the European Union Future and Emerging Technologies Human Brain Project. She is an international privacy practitioner, data protection consultant and law lecturer at De Montfort University Institute of Evidence-based Law Reform where she is the convenor of Privacy, Ethics and Responsibility.

Her work involves continuous, up-to-date collaborative research in privacy and data protection. As a legal expert, she regularly sits on panels involved in critical dialogues on balancing the competing interests of privacy and innovation at national and international levels. She holds a Phd in Law – Corporate Governance and Regulation in Emerging Economies (Sheffield), LLM International Commercial Law (Dundee), LLM Business Law and Taxation (France), Certified Data Protection Practitioner (PC.dp) on European Union General Data protection Regulation (EU GDPR) from Privacy and Data Protection (PdP) London.

 

Lecture title: Data protection and data ethics: Balancing big data and data-driven research

There is ongoing debate regarding the conflict between ethical and legal frameworks and the use of big data in research. At the heart of the dichotomy between protecting privacy and conducting data driven research is the recently in force EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For many researchers, the GDPR is perceived as a hindrance to the development of big data projects including the HBP. In the session, the speakers will explain the GDPR framework, the challenges it creates for research, and how these challenges can be approached in a way that respects ethical and legal considerations, while still producing research results.

This discussion is primarily approached through the lens of the challenges faced by SP8 and development of the Medical Informatics Platform. In particular, the session will consider the following questions:

  • How can we share medical data distributed in different hospitals in Europe?
  • How we can benefit from using these data?
  • What are the risks pertaining to this practice and how can we develop good practices?

Finally, how can we can assist researchers and further scientific aims while also respecting patients’ privacy and other rights?

Farisco picture Michele Farisco is part of Uppsala University Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics neuroethics research team. He holds a MA in Philosophy, a PhD in "Ethics and Anthropology. History and Foundation" and a Master degree in Biolaw. He is the author of four books and several articles about posthuman philosophy and philosophical, ethical and legal implications (ELSI) of genetics and neuroscience. Michele Farisco is currently working on his second PhD about the neuroscientific and conceptual issues of consciousness and its disorders. He is a member of the neuroethics and philosophy work package of the HBP's Subproject 12.

 

Lecture title: Neuroethics and philosophy in RRI

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an important ethical, legal, and political theme for the European Commission. Although variously defined, it is generally understood as an interactive process that engages social actors, researchers, and innovators who must be mutually responsive and work towards the ethical permissibility of the relevant research and its products. The framework of RRI calls for contextually addressing not just research and innovation impact but also the background research process, especially the societal visions underlying it and the norms and priorities that shape scientific agendas. In my talk I will focus on potential contribution of philosophical reflection to RRI, referring to specific works done within SP12.

Feldotto picture Benedikt Feldotto received a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics from Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) complemented with work experience in industrial pre-development for automation and an engineering project in the USA. Based on his general engineering education he specialized in intelligent robotic systems with the Master of Science program in "Robotics, Cognition, Intelligence" at Technical University of Munich (TUM). In 2017 Benedikt Feldotto started as Research Assistant at the “Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Real-Time” Systems chair at the Technical University of Munich and joined the research group of Neurorobotics in the European Human Brain Project (HBP). His research interests focus on biomimetic learning in neurorobotic systems and the interaction of robots with humans as well as the environment. As a contributing developer to the HBP Neurorobotics Platform for embodied brain simulations he also conducts user workshops all over the world. In 2016 he organized a discussion evening about “Artificial Intelligence – The beginning or ending of a better world”.

 

Lecture title: Robot stereotypes - What you see is not what you get

Biomimetic robots that imitate the learning process in human brains are central aspect of nowadays robotic research. While highly specialized robotic systems are already in use, sophisticated general robots such as humanoids are expected to enter our daily life soon. The appearance of robots here plays a central role for their acceptance, most popular in negative perspectives of movie doomsday scenarios with horrifying robot protagonists. Robots are anthropomorphized and character traits, capabilities and skills attributed based on morphological cues. Consequentially, the complex information processing algorithms behind are often not questioned but just accepted as a mystified black box called Artificial Intelligence.
In this talk we will introduce Neurorobotic research paradigms and show examples how breakthroughs in brain research can improve robot development. We will explain the diversity of the Artificial Intelligence landscape and outline the development process of intelligent machines. On the contrary we will relate research and development of intelligent machines to the user perception, the language used to describe AI tools and attributes assigned to robots from a user perspective. Among other examples we will underpin our argumentation with the capabilities of the Neurorobotics Platform developed in the Human Brain Project. Here, neural networks with various detail and functionalities can be modularly interconnected with arbitrary robot models. While for non-experts the visual and morphological appearance of robots is often the key to judge a robot, for developers it is just one design decision out of hundreds.
With insights on the diversity of robots and Artificial Intelligence we like to dispel stereotypes and discuss how we can really judge what makes a robotic system scary or cute and harmful or useful.

Fousek pic Jan Fousek is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of System Neuroscience at Aix-Marseille University, focusing on the personalization of Brain Network Models. He earned his PhD from Masaryk University (Faculty of Informatics) working on the High-Performance-Computing aspects of the Brain Network Models. During his doctoral studies, he also engaged in several interdisciplinary projects, bringing the HPC and modeling expertise to projects in neuroscience, computational chemistry, or digital humanities.

 

Lecture title: Personalized whole-brain models: Capturing the human diversity in medical treatment and research

Individual approach in brain-health context is crucial for diagnosis and intervention planning. Similarly, neuroscience research in general can profit from individualized approach for better mechanistic understanding of the phenomena at hand. Personalized whole-brain models allow to facilitate such individual approach by integrating data from different neuroimaging modalities in a single framework. On the other hand, relying on the individual data raises challenges related to personal data protection, which need to be addressed both in clinical praxis and in research. This talk will give a summary of the modeling work-flow and its implications with emphasis on the ethical and data protection aspects.

Grasenick picture Karin Grasenick graduated in Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering. Her thesis on innovative non-invasive techniques to measure stroke volume led to a growing interest in inter- and transdisciplinary research, diversity in research content and equal opportunities in science. She lectures, coaches and supports teams, universities and international projects in diversity and change management. In HBP, she actively supports the recognition of diversity as a success factor for research and innovation. Together with her team she provides tools and techniques for researchers accordingly.

 

Lecture title: Research design: Exploring the diversity of research objects and target groups

This session is a hands-on workshop on how to include diversity aspects in scientific research. It provides support and guidelines for researchers in different fields to reflect their research designs, methods and outcomes regarding diversity.

Kleinberger-Pierer picture Harald Kleinberger-Pierer graduated in economic history with a special focus on the history of science and technology. He is especially interested in epistemology, methodology and communication strategies of science and technology in history. He is convinced that dealing with the history of science and technology through examples will help us to better understand the implications of today's research. Knowledge of how past science was performed and recognized diversity and ethics helps to reflect scientific work and outcomes today. In HBP, he is a team member of convelop. He supports the planning and implementation of activities to foster diversity, gender and equal opportunities, with a focus on the development of tools and guidelines.

 

Lecture title: Research design: Exploring the diversity of research objects and target groups

This session is a hands-on workshop on how to include diversity aspects in scientific research. It provides support and guidelines for researchers in different fields to reflect their research designs, methods and outcomes regarding diversity.

 

Lecture title: A look back and forward: Diversity and ethics in the history of science

History of science helps us to understand how science worked in the past, but also to reflect on current research. In this presentation I will investigate different historical models of ethics in research. In addition, I will show how diversity (e.g. gender / sex, religion / beliefs) was considered in history of science and how this influenced the outcome of science and technology. Historical examples will be linked to the topics that are presented by the other speakers in the workshop, like RRI and ethics in historical settings, gender and diversity aspects in recording, preservation and use of data in history, (pre-)robotic-humanoid interactions and how the image of the human has changed as a result of new findings in the fields of science, medicine and biology.  

Robert Legenstein is a computer scientist working specifically in the fields of computational / theoretical neuroscience, novel brain-inspired computing paradigms, and neural networks. His research focuses on models for computation and learning in spiking neural networks. The aim of his research is to better understand the organization of computation and learning in nervous systems, as well as to apply such paradigms to artificial computing devices.

Mara picture Martina Mara is an Austrian tech psychologist and an expert on human-robot relations. She earned her doctorate in Psychology at the University of Koblenz-Landau with a dissertation on the user acceptance of anthropomorphic machines. After having worked for non-university research institutions such as the Ars Electronica Futurelab for more than a decade, she was appointed Professor of Robopsychology at Johannes Kepler University Linz in April 2018. Her current research interests include public attitudes towards robotics and AI, psychological effects of simulated human-likeness and intention signaling of mobile and collaborative robots. Martina Mara is a member of the Austrian Council on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. In her newspaper column „Schöne neue Welt”, she regularly writes about critical or funny aspects of technology in everyday life.

 

Lecture title: The demystification of the robot: Why we need informed people and explainable machines

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence entail many opportunities for humanity: From improving medical diagnoses to enabling greater autonomy for the elderly, from cleaning the house to optimizing energy efficiency. In the public discourse, however, smart technologies are customarily represented by the stereotypical image of the android, the artificial replication of the human being. Based on findings from psychological research, Mara argues that a human-centered approach towards technological development must foster new visions of complementary human-machine relationships instead of fueling fears of substitution. Furthermore, as many outside the expert circles still lack information about technical functions and feel uncomfortable with technology they don’t understand, there is a need for user empowerment: By explaining basic technological concepts to the public and by designing machines that are explainable themselves.

Nostro picture Alessandra Nostro - Questions such as how do we think, feel, and interact with the world around us, or what makes our thinking, feeling and interacting so unique, have always fascinated me. I have studied biology and Neuroscience to look for answers. My interest gravitated towards understanding individual differences, personality traits in particular, and how they relate to differences with brain structure and function. The main goal of my PhD consisted in assessing gender-common or gender-specific neural correlates of personality traits (assessed by the Big Five) in a multi-modal approach combining grey-matter volume or resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) in hundreds of participants. Interestingly, while we found robust correlated of personality traits, they were different across gender (Nostro et al., Cerabral Cortex, 2016; Nostro et al., Brain Structure and Function, 2018).

Thereafter, I decided to move to the Social Brain Lab at the NIN where I currently perform experiments that track moral learning signals in the brain while participants have to learn to choose between actions that trade off gains for the self in combination with pain for others.

 

Lecture title: The role of gender in the multimodal characterization of biological substrates of personality traits

The Five-Factor Model (FFM) provides a comprehensive assessment of personality, defined as the combination of five major domains: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Although several studies have already investigated structural and functional correlates of these five traits, it is still difficult to delineate a clear picture on the neurobiological correlates of the FFM. One major limitation can be found in considering gender as covariate of no interest. Indeed, despite the vast knowledge of the effect of gender on both the brain organization and on the self-reported personality scores, most of the studies in the field of personality neuroscience did not consider it in the neural underpinnings of personality. I will be therefore talking about my discovers on gender effects on both structural (Voxel-based Morphometry) and functional (Resting-State Functional Connectivity) neural correlates of personality.
The combination of these studies, therefore, corroborates the notion of a neural foundation for the Big Five, but, most importantly, that structural and functional changes supporting each trait might differ between male and female brains.

Saria picture Alois Saria started his research career investigating functions of neuropeptides in the autonomic and central nervous system and then moved to work on neuropeptides in the central nervous system and mechanism of action of psychoactive drugs and narcotics. More recently his research focused on systems neurobiology, particularly reward systems, and pharmacokinetic and -dynamic aspects of antidepressants and antipsychotics relevant for therapeutic drug monitoring in psychiatry. Techniques applied include behavioural animal models in psychiatry, most recently for addictive behaviour, immunohistochemistry, in-situ hybridization, in-vivo microdialysis, cell and tissue culture, quantitative determination of signaling substances with immunoassays and LC-tandem-mass spectrometry. In the current SPIN projects multielectrode-array recordings and optogenetic methods are in the process of being established.

 

 

Lecture title: The Human Brain Project at the halfway point

The Human Brain Project is one of the Flagship Projects funded by the European Union for a period of ten years. The project started in October 2013 and has now reached the half-way point. The core project currently involves 131 partners from 19 European countries and 7 partnering projects. The mission of the project is to explore the multi-level complexity of the brain in space and time and to transfer the acquired knowledge to brain-derived applications in medicine, computing and technology. At the moment, 6 ICT-platforms have been established where consortium members, in collaboration with other scientists, carry out experiments that already lead to a number of success stories with impact on creating more detailed digital brain atlases,  treatment of brain diseases, development of electronic devices or building a brain-like, so-called “neuromorphic” computer architecture. For the remaining funding periods the focus will be on building a sustainable infrastructure which can be accessed by researchers from anywhere for novel experimental approaches to brain research using most advanced high-performance and brain-inspired computer technologies.

SCIENTIFIC CHAIR

Karin Grasenick | CONVELOP
Harald Kleinberger-Pierer | CONVELOP

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supported by:

 

 

 

ORGANISERS

Sylvia Aßlaber | MUI
Judith Kathrein | MUI
Laura Saxer | MUI

This face-to-face workshop is based on the content of the HBP Curriculum online lectures

 

ABOUT THE VENUE

GRAZ UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Stremayrgasse 16
8010 Graz
Styria, Austria

Floor plan