“Katherine Bassil is a neuroscientist turned neuroethicist investigating the ethical and societal implications of neuroscience research and emerging neurotechnologies. She is particularly interested in public outreach and engagement with different stakeholders. Katherine received her doctorate from Maastricht University (2023) where she investigated stress mechanisms in human cell models and explored the ethical issues associated with predictive biomarkers for stress-related disorders. Katherine was shortly thereafter appointed Assistant Professor of Neuroethics at the University Medical Center in Utrecht (UMCU).
As a 2024-2025 Niels Stensen Fellow, Katherine will become affiliated with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany, where she will investigate the ethical implications of advanced AI chatbots (like ChatGPT) for mental health support on the therapeutic relationship between mental health professionals and patients. AI mental health chatbots are increasingly mimicking human-like responses, which may be misleading. Given the sensitive and inherently human nature of mental health care, this raises questions about the desirability of simulated empathy by AI and its impact on the therapeutic relationship.”