Week Four :: July 18–25

The Ethics of Tech: Scientific, Corporate and Personal Responsibility

Big Tech companies have begun to acknowledge their tremendous and sometimes harmful impact on society — particularly with regard to marginalized communities and civil liberties, and usually only following public calls for ethics reform and oversight.

  • Is it enough for these giants to self-police, or is an industry-wide code of ethics or government regulation necessary to protect a future dominated by artificial intelligence, datafication and facial recognition?
  • Does such oversight stifle innovation? How is the rest of the world responding?
  • And, while it’s easy to see ourselves as victims, how do we take personal responsibility as consumers and users? 

Interfaith Lecture Theme :: Ethics in a Technologically Transforming World?

Technology seems to be overtaking the world, from our obsession with electronic devices to the emerging artificial intelligence that helps us do everything from keep grocery lists to make war between nations. Outside of the practical applications, however, is there a question of right or wrong? What happens when technological capacity reaches a level that calls into question our very role as human beings in a society? In this week, we explore the ethical, spiritual and religious dimensions of “new tech.” Is it a step away from our own spiritual growth or can it be harnessed to create greater understanding?

  • Monday, July 20, 2020 | 10:45am

    Nicholas Thompson

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    The story of how science and tech will change our lives is one of the most important in the world. Nicholas Thompson, the editor-in-chief of Wired, is the first person to know — and investigate — both the technological and ethical developments as they unfold in Silicon Valley.

    Location: Amphitheater