In these interviews we can meet more deeply the members of the recently established YEBN Board for the period 2020-2021. The next member to be introduced is Alexandre Bretel, YEBN’s Networking Officer.
This is what Alexandre wants to tell us about himself.
I have been Networking Officer at YEBN since our General Assembly which took place in November 2019 in Barcelona. I was Network Task Group Leader before. I am now going to start a thesis in Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, more precisely focused on the notion of responsibility. This is a transversal theme that can also be applied to the field of bioethics. I am very interested in the synergies between the different fields and the mutual enrichment that can result.
What, in your opinion, makes YEBN special?
YEBN is an association that combines a great experience in networking, a rare seniority in the associative world and a team that gives a lot of importance to the initiative and the projects of each one. Travelling around Europe, both professionally and personally, is also an extraordinary experience for young researchers who want to meet their colleagues all over Europe.
How do you think YEBN can help you develop a successful career?
By developing my Networking skills, I am acquiring one of the most invaluable skills for my future professional career. Team leadership, project management, and international communication are invaluable skills. It’s also the opportunity to make attempts that will fail, which is a great experience! Those who succeed the most are those who fail the most!
“ Travelling around Europe, both professionally and personally, is also an extraordinary experience for young researchers who want to meet their colleagues all over Europe.”
What are your goals for YEBN in 2020-2021 as the Networking Officer?
My goal is to recruit new sponsors, new biotech associations and new members to the YEBN team. In spite of the crisis and the difficulties with COVID-19 water, I am confident that we will be able to achieve this.
How do you try to make a change for the better?
We participate in the Hackaton and Matchathon under the supervision of the European Union EuvsVirus against COVID-19, where we are trying to find sponsors to support our initiative in Health & Life. The #EUvsVirus Hackathon offers a common organizational and technical framework in which the participants can get involved online and develop prototypes and solutions for technically, politically and socially relevant issues in the context of the Coronavirus crisis. It aims at collectively developing innovative solutions, e.g. high tech, low tech, hardware and software, using biotech, digital tech, societal science and other innovation domains. It’s a way to contribute to make a better world!
In what point are you in your career?
I’m starting my thesis, I plan to become a doctor in artificial intelligence ethics. I see many similarities with the bioethics of new technologies, such as genome sequencing, increasing life expectancy, the discovery of new drugs, etc. This research is made possible by artificial intelligence. This is a theme that needs to be addressed increasingly.
“ We participate in the Hackaton and Matchathon under the supervision of the European Union EuvsVirus against COVID-19, where we are trying to find sponsors to support our initiative in Health & Life.”
What’s your dream professional career?
I dream of doing several activities: consultant in artificial intelligence ethics, professor in this discipline, researcher, etc. I think I can do all of them at the same time.
What do you like/dislike most about your job or what you study?
What I appreciate most about my activity is that it allows me to establish the best thoughts and behaviours to address the greatest challenges of our time. Existential risks linked to the development of AI, risks of major social disruptions due to automation, new models of society, … are all exciting topics on which a very rich community is already working. It’s very exciting to join such a profession! What I dislike the most is perhaps the risk of not finding a link between a book or an essay in philosophy and the ethics of artificial intelligence. We have to choose our authors carefully.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
In my spare time, I learn how to do real estate and invest. This is the best strategy to achieve financial freedom. I recommend it to anyone who wants to pursue their dream career without worrying about their income. I also listen to podcasts from the Futur of Life Institute, located in Boston, which aims to mitigate existential risks, particularly related to artificial intelligence, but also to biotechnologies, nuclear weapons and climate change. I recommend it to everyone!
Important advice for others, what have you learned.
As an ethicist, my advice will be to always carry out an activity in accordance with our values. Only in this way can we carry out a fulfilling activity, helping others in the best possible way.
“ As an ethicist, my advice will be to always carry out an activity in accordance with our values. Only in this way can we carry out a fulfilling activity, helping others in the best possible way. ”
Many thanks for your interview and for sharing your great experiences!