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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)


Jana Sedlakova

  • PhD Student
  • Research Assistant

Jana Sedlakova is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics of the University of Zurich. In 2022, she joined a complementary PhD Program “DSI Excellence PhD Program” of the Digital Society Initiative to delve into societal and ethical issues of digitalization. She is also a manager of two scientific communities: Ethics and Health at the DSI. Finally, she is affiliated with the Institute of Implementation Science in Healthcare to work on more empirically oriented research.

Her research is at the intersection of medical ethics, philosophy of technology, ethics of AI and health research. She focuses on the ethical and epistemic challenges and requirements regarding human-AI interaction with a particular focus on healthcare conversational agents used in the context of mental health and well-being. She is also involved in projects focusing on the public legitimacy of digital research methods, the challenges and requirements of the use of digital unstructured data in health research and the use of technologies in shared decision-making.

In her research, she aims to bridge the normative, theoretical methods with empirical research. Currently, she is working on an empirical study focusing on six different interaction styles of chatbots asking questions related to mental health and well-being. With this study, she aims to investigate how the different design choices concerning the humanization of chatbots affect users’ experience, their willingness to disclose information, and the quality of the data obtained.

Research Interests

  • Ethics of conversational agents in mental healthcare
  • Ethics of humanization
  • Human-AI collaboration and interaction
  • Digitalization in healthcare
  • Philosophy of Psychiatry
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Ethics of AI

Ongoing Projects

  • PhD project on ethical and epistemological challenges of patients’ interaction with conversational AI           
  • DSI-Health Projects:
    Enriching health research with unstructured patient data: opportunities and challenges                                
    DSI Approach: How to define a good research question for projects with digital unstructured data    
  • Co-Organizer of the workshop “When ethics meets well-being and mental health apps: moral and social issues of pursuing the good life with a smartphone
  • Empirical study: The Role of Humanization of Chatbots Asking Questions Related to Mental Well-being
    Please participate


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