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I have a broad research interest in the ethics assessment and responsible governance of emerging and future technologies, such as robotics, autonomous systems and AI. Through evidence-based research into these transformative technologies, I aim to address the ethical, social, legal and regulatory challenges they pose to society, explore responsive analytical approaches in the understanding and evaluation of them, and propose practical governance tools for the design, development and use of them.
January 2017 - December 2021
- I am an ethicist and a political scientist based in Switzerland since 2010. I hold a PhD degree in Biomedical Ethics and Law (2021) from University of Zurich, and two Master’s degrees in Political Science (2011) and Applied Ethics (2008) obtained in Sweden and Norway respectively. During my PhD, I investigated how to integrate ethical values in the humanitarian use of drones, which resulted in the Framework for the Ethics Assessment of Humanitarian Drones (FEAHD).
April 2010 - December 2015
- Project Manager
- I worked as an ethicist for a number of UN organisations on policy development during three years, followed by a multinational corporation as the Business Ethics Manager, and a humanitarian NGO as the Ethics Policy Advisor, all in Geneva, Switzerland.
Increasingly, humanitarian organizations across the globe have been implementing innovative technologies in their practice as they respond to the needs of communities affected by conflicts, disasters, and public health emergencies. However, technological innovation may intersect with moral values, norms, and commitments, and may challenge humanitar...
The noticeable turn to technology in humanitarian action raises issues related to humanitarianism, sovereignty, as well as equality and access for at-risk populations in disaster zones or remote areas lacking sufficient healthcare services. On a technical level, practical challenges include heightened risks of data safety and security, and the pote...
Since 2016, drones have been deployed in various development projects in sub-Saharan Africa, where trials, tests and studies have been rolled out in countries including Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Ghana, and Democratic Republic of Congo. The use cases of drones vary, ranging from imagery collection to transportation of vaccines, lab samples,...
With the rise of the “humanitarian drone” in recent years, drones have become one of the most controversial public interest technologies that have gained increasing media attention. It is worth noting that, although there is a perception in the aid sector that drones hold the promise to reinvent the health supply logistics, to date, routine drone d...
The use of drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles, UVAs) in humanitarian action has emerged rapidly in the last decade and continues to expand. These so-called 'humanitarian drones' represent the first wave of robotics applied in the humanitarian and development contexts, providing critical information through mapping of crisis-affected areas and time...
Emerging technologies are widely used in humanitarian, development, and healthcare settings by aid agencies globally. Drones represent the first wave of robotic technology applied in the aid sector, demonstrating remarkable capacities to speed up humanitarian responses and to optimise aid supply operations. Although the so-called “humanitarian dron...
The current humanitarian use of drones is focused on two applications: disaster mapping and medical supply delivery. In response to the growing interest in drone deployment in the aid sector, we sought to develop a resource to support value sensitivity in humanitarian drone activities. Following a bottom-up approach encompassing a comprehensive lit...
This report describes the current state of the art in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. In this report, we establish definitions and demarcations for both fields that will be used in subsequent SIENNA research on AI and robotics. The report discusses the fields in terms of their backgrounds, positions, challenges, and present...
The increasing demands and high potentials of drones used in urban settings touch upon a number of ethical and social issues. This project sets out to examine the ethical risks associated with urban drones, the regulatory frameworks within which they operate, and the societal acceptance of their deployment at scale, in the Swiss context. Project partners include leading industry members, Canton of Zurich, Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), and the Geneva Center of Humanitarian Studies. The project is funded by the UZH Strategic Partnership Program, the UZH Digital Society Initiative, and the UZH Alumni Fund. More info on the project website: https://ethics.dsi.uzh.ch/project/sadus/.
This is a "spin-off" project of an earlier study finalised in August 2021, in which we explored in-depth the ethical, legal and social implications of the humanitarian use of drones (HUD), in collaborated with leading international organisations. One of the key outputs of the study was the Framework for the Ethical Assessment of Humanitarian Drones (FEAHD), providing international organisations with ethical guidance and support in making strategic decisions related to HUD. The objective of the E-HUD project are twofold: (1) Translating the FEAHD into a responsive and interactive digital tool E-HUD to assist international organisations with ethically informed decision-making in drone deployment. (2) Leveraging the findings of this process and extending the applications of the tool to facilitate the ethical assessment of civil use of drones in the Swiss context in light of urban mobility and smart cities. This project is funded by the Digitalisation Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH). More info on the project website: https://ethics.dsi.uzh.ch/project/e-hud/. Date: 1 November 2018 - 30 June 2021
In collaboration with international organisations and academic institutions across Europe and North America, we investigated the opportunities and challenges of integrating ethical values in the humanitarian use of drones. This is a highly collaborative and trans-disciplinary project across public, private and academic sectors. Project partners include international organisations, such as World Health Organization (WHO), Médécin Sans Frontières (MSF), and Medair; as well as academic institutions, such as McGill University (Canada), University of St. Gallen Switzerland), and the Free University of Brussels (Belgium). This project is funded jointly by the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). More info on the project website: https://ethics.dsi.uzh.ch/project/feahd/.