Shane Gough

PhD Student

Project Title: 

Freedom to Think in the Age of Artificial Intelligence


Shane is a PhD scholar at Maynooth University under the supervision of Prof. Aphra Kerr (Dept of Sociology) and Prof. Aisling McMahon (School of Law and Criminology). His thesis focusses on the extent to which the right to freedom of thought (under the European Convention of Human Rights) is engaged with respect to the use of AI technology, and what it means to have free thought in the “surveillance century”. Freedom of thought is a “forgotten” human right, mainly because our inner thoughts have thus far been seen as “impenetrable”. However, it is now possible for AI technology to infer and manipulate our thoughts which requires us to re-engage with the right to freedom of thought and ensure that AI technology is deployed in a manner which supports and promotes democratic sustainability and human agency.


Prof Aphra Kerr (Maynooth), and Prof Aisling McMahon (Maynooth)