The Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, working with the Neuroscience, Ethics & Society team in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, are researching how new and emerging technologies for collective thinking, sensing, and decision-making are challenging widely accepted notions of what individual and collective agency entails. To collaborate on this research we have the fantastic arts collective of Yambe Tam and Albert Barbu in residence, developing a public art installation and immersive computer game experience.
The Rethinking Collective Minds research line aims to show how novel constellations of brains and computers require us to rethink our conceptions of collective entities, and the ethics which accompany them.
Questions we seek to explore include: what does it mean for a Collective Mind to have an identity?; what becomes of the individual in an increasingly connected world?; how can we understand the moral agency of a Collective Mind?
Throughout the project we have run games testing events and focus groups with students from local schools; The Cherwell and Wheatley Park. These events were co-designed with the NEUROSEC 'Young Persons Advisory Group', to ensure that younger people's perspectives were appropriately captured and included. As a result, the students have directly fed into the project design and we will be displaying the final gaming piece in central Oxford with Fusion Arts in May 2023.