Research Focus


Our research focus is on the ethical implications of emerging technologies. Breakthroughs in cognitive science, data science, robotics, artificial intelligence, and biomedical science (including neuroscience) – amongst others – have opened up new ethical dimensions and expanded the scope of existing questions. We as a society must engage these new ethical developments if we are to ensure that nascent technologies are designed and applied in ways that promote clarity in responsibility and the well-being of us all. As such, our aim is to consider these new technologies in the light of ethical theory and practice in order to map and evaluate the potential concerns, benefits, and conundrums that may arise. Through this application of ethical theory to technology, a mutually beneficial relationship can be established, one in which ethical theory can allow for the moral guidance of the development and application of technologies, while the realities of practice can simultaneously inform the modification of ethical theory.

The topics we consider include:

  • The implications of emerging technology for our understanding of agency and responsibility
  • The impact of emerging technology on our conceptions of autonomy, from both individualized and relational perspectives
  • How emerging technologies impact our self-understanding and our understanding of others
  • How to develop emerging technologies in ways that promote human well-being and ensure the fostering of trust – which engages questions of transparency and privacy
  • How the relationship between AI systems (whether embodied robots or intelligent software) and humans, should be understood and what ethical conclusions can be drawn from this
  • How to draw ethical limitations on the use of emerging technologies in the data sciences, cognitive sciences, and biomedical sciences in order to promote behavioural change

Our working projects reflect our research on applications of ethics to pressing questions surrounding neuroscience, artificial intelligence, healthcare, and more. Follow this link for information on our current projects.
Below can be found the list of the projects – past and present – undertaken by the members of the Applied Ethics Group. As per the group’s research focus, these projects deal with crucial questions arising from the intersection of ethics and emerging technology, ranging from the ethics of human enhancement, the ethics of AI, through to engineering ethics and the considerations surrounding the nudging of human decision-making. We actively pursue meaningful – and particularly interdisciplinary – collaboration.

  • Ethics of Human-machine interaction
  • Human Enhancement: ethical, social, and anthropological questions
  • Ethics of AI - data, algorithms, and us
  • Socially-responsive AI
  • Moral agency and responsibility in AI systems
  • AI in healthcare: prospects and perceptions of evolving agency
  • Caring: vulnerability, interdependence, and trust
  • Relational autonomy and collective responsibility
  • The adaptive self
  • Internet of Things and us
  • Persuasion, nudging, autonomy - dissecting decision-making
  • Engineering Ethics: Understanding Responsibility
  • Pediatric Enhancement