Angela meets Industry Partner to discuss their future strategy

post by Angela Thornton

I’ve just come back from 5 days in Nardo, Southern Italy where I was on retreat with my industry partner the Carboncopies Foundation (CCF). We stayed in Relais Monastero Santa Teresa – a 13th-century baronial palace which was subsequently converted into a cloistered monastery. The bedrooms were all beautifully unique and our meeting rooms were equally stunning even if getting the Wi fi to work and finding enough plug sockets and adapters could be challenging! We had a few hours off on the Friday to explore the historic town with its cobbled streets and beautiful buildings and even managed a short trip to the nearby seaside on Sunday when it was a lovely sunny day.

However, we had an intensive schedule which involved launching new departments and initiatives and also progressing existing projects. I’m on the Board and actively involved in both the main Research and Education offices as well as leading the Ethics department so there was a lot of information to discuss and disseminate. Specifically I led an ideation session on an Ethical Framework for Whole Brain Emulation (WBE) which is one of my key areas of responsibility for 2023 and beyond. This is an active research area but WBE in humans is likely to take many decades so planning to ensure responsible research and innovation is challenging. Thankfully as an ex-industry researcher, I have considerable experience in ethics and codes of conduct and was on the Ethics and Compliance Committee for the British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association. Hence I was able to draw on that experience to moderate a creative session to identify key topics and risks. Following idea generation, we conducted some interim thematic analysis which I will review and develop to provide a draft table of contents for the Ethical Framework. This first iteration is an internal process, but CCF will subsequently consult with other experts in the field with the aim of authoring the first set of Ethical Guidelines for WBE.  It was particularly productive to have members of the CCF who aren’t always directly involved in ethics as they bought a unique perspective.

The event was notable not just in how much we achieved collaboratively but how enjoyable it was to spend time with people that I had only previously met virtually. Our shared memories will include some entertaining moments including star gazing from the roof and spinning LED glow poi.