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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
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Laying the Ethical Foundation for a Rapidly Changing Future

2022-23 Annual Report

Many of the programs developed by the Ethics Center this past year were designed to help society address the ethical dilemmas of the day as well as those not yet in sight.

Access the 2022-23 Annual Report

Two-Thirds of Americans Surveyed are Concerned With AI’s Impact on the Human Race

Eighty-three Percent Believe AI Should be Government Regulated

A new report, Ethics in the Age of AI,  outlines how Americans feel about artificial intelligence (AI) from an ethical standpoint. The Markkula Center and its Institute for Technology, Ethics, and Culture (ITEC) surveyed 3,000 Americans aged 18+ and found that they have concerns about the technology’s impact on the human race.

Access Report Findings

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Ethics in the Age of Disruptive Technologies: An Operational Roadmap

By José Roger Flahaux, Brian Patrick Green, and Ann Skeet

"Ethics in the Age of Disruptive Technologies: An Operational Roadmap,” or, more briefly, the “ITEC Handbook,” offers organizations a strategic plan to enhance ethical management practices, empowering them to navigate the complex landscape of disruptive technologies such as AI, machine learning, encryption, tracking, and others while upholding strong ethical standards.

Download the ITEC Handbook

Wild Beasts: A Podcast About Ethics

"A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world." ~Albert Camus

“Wild Beasts” analyzes current events from the perspective of applied ethics. Who is responsible for creating a sustainable future for AI? Why are state legislators passing restrictive voting bills? What is woke capitalism? Who ought to have control over our bodies in virtual reality? What is the fate of social media? 

Listen to the Podcast

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All About Ethics: Perspectives From Across the Center
Silhouettes of people gathered in discussion. Photo by geralt_Pixabay.

In many aspects of our lives, people must grant their permission in order to achieve something -- set the terms of a contract or complete a transaction, for example. Should similar informed consent be part of our AI use as well?

Young people hands using smartphones. By neonshot/Adobe Stock.

What if companies were to invest significantly more in content moderation?

How might news platforms and products ensure that ethical journalism on chronic issues is not drowned out by the noise of runaway political news cycles?

Featured Ethics Spotlights
Generative Artificial Intelligence including text, computer generated images.

Throughout history, new technologies have disrupted society in different ways–some positively and some negatively–from steam-powered engines and electricity, to the Internet, and now again with artificial intelligence (AI); generative AI in particular in this instance. The creation of art, journalism, education, and the very truth itself have all been tested by the use of ChatGPT and other generative AIs. Markkula Center staff and scholars unpack some of the many related ethical dilemmas in this Ethics Spotlight.

The U.S. Flag and Constitution, semi-automatic guns, a shooter with AR-15, and a human hand held in the air to block or stop the action.

The gun debate has again reached a fever pitch in the shadow of several horrific mass shootings. Ethics Center staff and faculty interrogate the moral and ethical issues associated with gun use and regulation.

Laura Sanchez, right, holds her 2-month-old son, Lizandro, while receiving a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from a registered nurse, Noleen Nobleza at a vaccine clinic set up in the parking lot of CalOptima in Orange, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 that more than 80% of the people eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine in CA

While vaccines provide protection for individuals and communities against severe disease and death, this fight is far from over as we see infection rates climb, especially among children who cannot be vaccinated. Ethics Center staff and scholars analyze the critical questions in this Ethics Spotlight.

An Industry Leader in Ethics Consultation

For more than 35 years, the Ethics Center has helped individuals and organizations make better decisions and includes offering fee-for-service options for organizations that want a customized approach to building training programs, case studies, and other materials.

Center News
Building blocks on a grid with title: Laying the Ethical Foundation for a Rapidly Changing Future

The Ethics Center releases its 2022-23 Annual Report.

Shelby Jennett, 2023-24 Honzel Fellow with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Jennett’s role as a fellow is complex, but has provided opportunities such as co-creating a curriculum for her mentees, shadowing physicians, and facilitating her own research project.

Anjali Joshi

Ethics Center Advisory Board Member Anjali Joshi offers her fruitful insight on how technology companies can work internally to provide positive external outcomes.

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ESG Resource Center

Ethics Helps Companies Operationalize ESG Reporting

Companies are under extreme pressure from customers, investors, and the government to begin accounting for how they are performing in these non-financial matters, and this new set of resources will help them more efficiently operationalize ESG reporting.

Explore the Ethics and ESG Resource Center

Teaching Note: Interview of Theranos Whistleblower, Tyler Shultz

This teaching module for business ethics, leadership and management courses includes two videos, homework assignments, and class discussion, all designed to spark conversation about ethical issues associated with whistleblowers and corporate governance.

View the Teaching Module

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Evaluating Culture for Ethics

Our Culture Self-Assessment Practice recommends approaches to evaluating culture for ethics within companies and other types of organizations. The materials are primarily for members of an organization’s leadership team, including human resources and legal, but designed to engage a cross-section of leaders from various disciplines.

Get Started

Media Commentary
Reno, Nevada. The Biggest Little City in the World. El Dorado Hotel and neon signage. Image by 12019 from Pixabay.

John Pelissero, director, government ethics, quoted by This is Reno.

San Francisco Chronicle Logo

Joan Harrington, Ethics Center fellow, quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Brian Green, director, technology ethics, quoted by The Daily Upside.

Like Birds, Ethical Issues Are Everywhere...

...often difficult to spot, but noticed by those in search of them.

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University exists to help people see, understand, and work through ethical problems.

As an introduction to thinking ethically, we have created a framework for ethical decision making.

Learn About Our Framework

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