ESR Soumia Zohra El Mestari at 5th AAAI/ACM conference on Artificial Intelligence , Ethics and Society (AIES)

Early-Stage Researcher Soumia Zohra El Mestari attended the fifth AAAI/ACM conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics and Society (AIES) hosted at Keble college, university of Oxford in the United Kingdom from August 1st to 3rd 2022.

Soumia applied and was selected to attend the doctoral programme that was organized by the conference. As part of the student programme, Soumia participated in various workshops along with PhD students from different disciplines namely: Ethics, Law, Philosophy, and computer science.

The participants took part in many group working sessions along with mentors who are distinguished scientists in their fields. The workshops were followed by lunch roundtables with mentors.

During the last day of the conference, Soumia presented her PhD work around the usage of Privacy Enhancing Technologies(PETs) in machine learning pipelines as a tool to achieve the EU vision of trustworthy AI systems.



She first began by discussing the various conceptions of privacy in the context of data driven solutions, the different threat points throughout the machine learning pipeline and how these threat points can be exploited to maintain strong privacy attacks that can not only lead to heavy leakage bills but also may be invisible to detect. Then, the presentation also discussed the various PETs used to mitigate those attacks along with the pros and cons of each mitigation strategy.

Finally, Soumia concluded her presentation by stressing on the fact that the effective identification of the threat points can be a key element to solve some of the privacy issues. However, solving some privacy issues may come at the cost of other trustworthiness elements such as fairness and transparency. Hence, building a trustworthy AI pipeline is a challenging task since the acceptable tradeoff between those trustworthiness elements remains hard to measure.

ESR Tommaso Crepax at Panel on Data Portability organised by the SoBigData++ project.

On November 28th, ESR Tommaso Crepax was invited to participate as speaker to an Awareness Panel on Data Portability organised by the SoBigData++ project.

The speakers Dr. Denise Amram (SSSA), Kyle Mc Kibbin (University of Ghent) and our Tommaso Crepax (SSSA) discussed issues of portability as embedded in relevant pieces of regulations. Opening with an explanation on article 20 GDPR from Dr. Amram, Mc Kibbin discussed the interplay between portability in GDPR in respect to the Data Governance Act and Data Act. Closing the debate, Tommaso highlighted that, contrary to what most data scientist would believe –that is, data protection and governance laws are obstacles to research—there are plenty of cases where laws such as the Open Data Directive or the Free flow of Non-Personal Regulation actually open up or give access to useful datasets – according to some specific conditions. Re- searchers, it seems, have more opportunities to access data than they think they have!


The recording of the event can be found here.

LeADS and LiderLab co-organize Workshop on ethical and legal issues in technology

The LeADS project will co-organize a workshop with the LiderLab titled “Dealing with ethical legal issues in technology development: the current approaches adopted in ongoing projects” in a hybrid format at the Aula Magna Storica – Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa Italy on March 3rd 2023 12.00 – 13.30.


12.00 – 12.10 – Greetings and introduction to the workshop, D. Amram

12.10 – 12.20 – The VALKYRIES ecosystem and the ethical-legal issues, D. Amram & G. Comandé

12.20 – 12.30 5GSOSIA Proof of concept and ethical-legal remarks, V. Lionetti & M. Gagliardi & L. Valcarenghi

12.30 – 12.40 The RESCUER toolkit, E. Keremidou

12.40 – 12.50 The FACILITATE project and its challenges, J. M. C. Blom & D. Mascalzoni

12.50 – 13.20 Hands up Session: Q&A and Discussion, All

13.20 – 13.30 Conclusions: LeADS and the legality attentive generation of data scientists, G. Comandé

Please register to the event here and the link for event can be found here


ESRs in Podcasts: Xengie Doan on Interdisciplinary Research

ESR Xengie Doan got invited on the Ethical allies podcast that aims to uncover what really happens with ethical tech, digital rights, and more. In the episode “Data Science & Law: How Interdisciplinary Research Addresses Future Challenges”, Xengie addresses various questions on the importance of an interdisciplinary perspective in data science and law – despite both being fundamentally different.

Professionals from both fields would benefit from having a deeper understanding of the other perspective: data scientists should understand the fundamentals of the GDPR to find better and more flexible ways of implementing it and to be more ethical within those guidelines. Lawyers, on the other hand, should have a deeper understanding of the complexity of evolving technologies to find and develop an appropriate legal framework.

The Podcast can be listened to on the website of the Ethical Commerce Alliance.