The term “technology ethics” comes up frequently these days but is not always well understood. In order to consider technology ethics in depth, we need a shared understanding of its content. Irina Raicu and Brian Green explore what ethics is, and more narrowly, the meaning of data ethics.
Brian begins by addressing what tech ethics is—and isn’t—and why we have to be careful not to narrow our focus too sharply. (“Ethics” is not the same as “fairness,” for example.)
Irina then examines how “data” obscures key distinctions that directly impact the ethical analysis of diverse types of data. Different kinds of data require different ethical balancing when it comes to collection, use, protection, and disposal.
These reflections will help you transition into the remainder of the Strata Ethics Summit content.
Irina Raicu is the director of the Internet Ethics Program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Previously, she was an attorney in private practice. Her work addresses a wide variety of issues, ranging from online privacy to net neutrality, from data ethics to social media’s impact on friendship and family, from the digital divide to the ethics of encryption, and from the ethics of artificial intelligence to the right to be forgotten. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Atlantic, USA Today, MarketWatch, Slate, HuffPost, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Recode. She’s a Certified Information Privacy Professional (US) and is a member of the Partnership on AI’s Working Group on Fair, Transparent, and Accountable AI. In collaboration with the staff of the High Tech Law Institute, Irina manages the ongoing IT, Ethics, and Law lecture series, which has brought to campus speakers such as journalist Julia Angwin, ethicists Luciano Floridi and Patrick Lin, and then-FTC commissioner Julie Brill. She holds a JD from Santa Clara University’s School of Law, a master’s degree in English and American literature from San Jose State University, and a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Berkeley. She tweets at @IEthics and is the primary contributor to the blog Internet Ethics: Views from Silicon Valley. As a teenager, Irina came to the US with her family as a refugee; her background informs her interest in the internet as a tool whose use has profound ethical implications worldwide.
Brian Patrick Green is the director of technology ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. His responsibilities include representing the center at the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, speaking and publishing on AI ethics as well as various other topics in ethics and technology, and coordinating the center’s partnership with the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. Brian also reviews and evaluates applications to the center’s Hackworth grant program, which awards funding to SCU faculty, staff, and students for work in applied ethics; coordinates the Technology and Ethics Faculty Group; helps coach and coordinate the university’s Ethics Bowl team; works with the center’s Environmental Ethics Fellows; and assists with several other initiatives. In addition, he teaches engineering ethics in the Graduate School of Engineering. Brian’s background includes doctoral and master’s degrees in ethics and social theory from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in genetics from the University of California, Davis. He has conducted molecular biology research in both academic and industrial settings, and between college and graduate school, he served for two years in the Jesuit Volunteers International, teaching high school in the Marshall Islands. His research interests include multiple topics in the ethics of technology, such as AI and ethics, the ethics of space exploration and use, the ethics of technological manipulation of humans, the ethics of mitigation of and adaptation toward risky emerging technologies, and various aspects of the impact of technology and engineering on human life and society, including the relationship of technology and religion (particularly the Catholic Church). Many of his writings can be found at his academia.edu page.
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