Seminar: Dr Anders Sandberg, "The Enhanced Courtroom: Cognition enhancement and juror mental ability"

Past Event

20 January 2010, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Abstract: Legal proceedings place strong demands on the cognitive abilities of participants. Jurors in particular are supposed to observe and remember what occurs during a long trial, reaching an unbiased verdict. At the same time the legal environment and rules cause stress and there are legitimate concerns over whether jurors in complex trials retain enough (or correct) information to make the right decision. Could juror cognition be improved, and would this improve the legal process? We examine whether cognition enhancing substances should be allowed or even promoted in the courtroom, by discussing possible biasing cognitive effects and comparing the substances with non-biomedical enhancements such as note-taking.

Dr Anders Sandberg’s research at the Future of Humanity Institute centres on societal and ethical issues surrounding human enhancement and new technology, as well as estimating the capabilities and underlying science of future technologies. Topics of particular interest include enhancement of cognition, cognitive biases, technology-enabled collective intelligence, neuroethics and public policy. He has worked on this within the EU project ENHANCE, where he also was responsible for public outreach and online presence. Besides scientific publications in neuroscience, ethics and future studies he has also participated in the public debate about human enhancement internationally. He has a background in computer science, neuroscience and medical engineering. He obtained his Ph.D. in computational neuroscience from Stockholm University, Sweden, for work on neural network modeling of human memory.