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October 6 Tuesday

Boundless Data, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of Deep Phenotyping in Psychiatry: Can Law and Ethics Keep Up?, Francis Shen, Visiting Professor

  • Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 12:00PM - 1:30PM
  • Online
  • Open To The Public
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“The deeper you go, the more you know.” This headline captures the tantalizing promise of deep phenotyping in psychiatric research.

By combining 24/7 data—on location, movement, email and text communications, and social media—with brain scans, genetics/genomics, neuropsychological batteries, and clinical interviews, researchers will have an unprecedented amount of objective, individual-level data. Analyzing this data with ever-evolving artificial intelligence (AI) offers the possibility of intervening early with precision. Yet the road to this innovative future is fraught with ethical and legal dilemmas. In this talk, Dr. Francis Shen will discuss the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of deep phenotyping research. Dr. Shen has been working on this project with the support of an NIH Bioethics Administrative Supplement award (NIH 1U01MH116925-01) and with colleagues Dr. Benjy Silverman, MD, Dr. Justin Baker, MD, PhD, Dr. Scott Rauch, MD, and a working group of colleagues based at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

The talk will highlight how existing ethical guidance and legal regulation are not sufficient for deep phenotyping research. At present, there are regulatory gaps, inconsistency across research teams in ethics protocols, and a lack of consensus amongst IRBs in when and how deep phenotyping research should proceed. To address this gap, Dr. Shen and colleagues propose an Ethics Checklist for Deep Phenotyping Research (“DP Ethics Checklist”). The DP Ethics Checklist is composed of 20 key questions, sub-divided into six (and interrelated) domains: (1) informed consent, (2) equity, diversity, and access, (3) privacy and partnerships, (4) regulation and law, (5) return of results, and (6) duty to warn and duty to report.

Francis X. Shen is a Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He is also Executive Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior, an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School. At the University of Minnesota, he is Professor of Law, McKnight Presidential Fellow, and faculty member in the Graduate Program on Neuroscience. He directs the Shen Neurolaw Lab, whose motto is, “Every story is a brain story.” Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Shen received his B.A. from the University of Chicago, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Shen’s research, which utilizes empirical methods and insights from neuroethics, examines how insights from neuroscience can make the legal system more just and effective. He has coauthored three books, including the first Law and Neuroscience casebook (Aspen, with Jones and Schall), with a fourth book currently under review at Oxford Press. His research includes work on the intersection of neuroscience with criminal responsibility and sentencing, evidentiary admissibility, memory and lie detection, cognitive enhancement, trauma and asylum law, sports concussion, juror decision-making, criminal mental states, dementia, and human-animal chimeras. He also teaches and writes on artificial intelligence and the law and is supported by multiple NIH Neuroethics research grants to examine the ethical, legal, and social implications of field-based brain imaging and computational psychiatry. 

 Please contact Heather Branch at heather.branch@yale.edu for the zoom link

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