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BioMe: Existential Challenges and Ethical Imperatives of Biometric AI in Everyday Lifeworlds

About the project

The possibility of using fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scanning, or voice recognition has become an increasingly common means of identifying ourselves and interacting within our technologized world. 

Beyond prompting immediate questions about privacy infringement and security, such biometric technologies and techniques categorize us into personality types, label individuals as ‘risky’, and discern our desires, values, and psychological health. This leads to even larger existential and ethical questions about human dignity, social prejudice, and transparency.

This ambitious research project aims to illuminate the problematic aspects that biometric technologies introduce, investigating the extent to which they alter, disrupt, and reconfigure people’s lives and the human condition through their pervasive presence.

Building on and extending the achievements of principal investigator Amanda Lagerkvist as a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, which includes her establishment of the international research field of Existential Media Studies, this project’s central objective is to explore the experiential spectrum of encounters with these technologies. By examining the challenges and opportunities that biometric technologies generate, the project places particular emphasis on the pressing ethical imperatives they pose for networked humanity.

Through the intersection of expertise in media studies, philosophy, law, information systems, and interdisciplinary arts, the project explores various dimensions of people’s private and public lives affected by the widespread adoption of biometric technologies. These dimensions range from everyday domestic life and border control situations to decision-making processes in public office environments, shopping experiences, artistic practices, and spiritual congregations. By scrutinizing developments such as AI, biometric passports, smart home appliances, mobile applications, touch screens, and voice-controlled assistants, the project seeks to develop a comprehensive understanding of these challenges while contributing to discussions on ethical and sustainable AI in collaboration with wider society, AI engineers, and creative practitioners.


Start: 1 January 2020
End: 31 December 2024

Project type



Universities and institutes

Uppsala University

Project members

Amanda Lagerkvist

Amanda Lagerkvist


Uppsala University

Maria Rogg

Maria Rogg

PhD student

Uppsala University