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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Media Mentions

A selection of articles, op-eds, TV segments, and other media featuring Center staff.


Government and Politics

Does Technology Favor Tyranny?

"Democratic entities need to move more quickly to understand new technology (with the help of the growing cadre of tech experts who are also interested in policy), consider its long-term consequences, and regulate its deployment."

Irina Raicu quoted in Foreign Affairs.

He Jiankui, scientist claiming to help create world's first genetically edited babies He Jiankui, scientist claiming to help create world's first genetically edited babies (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)working in a lab (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein).

Stanford University Investigating Doctor Who Produced Gene Edited Babies

“This kind of gene editing effects not only the patient, but all of the patient's future progeny in future generations. And therefore any unintended consequences could affect populations, not just the individual patient."

Ann Mongoven quoted in KTVU (AP Photos/Mark Schiefelbein).

Inaugural Women in AI Ethics Summit

"The public conversation is full of hype and misinformation about what algorithms can do 'better' than humans can. Are there problems or areas of human life in which automated decision-making will not help, and might, in fact, cause more harm? If so, what might those be, and how should we improve the conversation?"

"Algorithms can't be used to decide societal norms."

Irina Raicu quoted in Salesforce Research Blog.

YouTube Dangerous Pranks (AP Images/Patrick Semansky)

How YouTube's Ban on Dangerous Stunts Will Affect Creators

The pendulum is swinging away from companies' early position that they should not be the arbiters of what gets published," said Irina Raicu. "It may swing too far the other way before it settles, but it's good to see companies try to keep up with changing norms and with shifts in the kind of materials that they host. That's what practical wisdom requires."

Irina Raicu quoted in VICE (AP Images/Patrick Semansky).

Sample Slides

IoT and AI: Google Rethinks Its Ethics

Google has launched trainings based on the “Ethics in Technology Practice” project developed at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, with additional materials tailored to the AI Principles. The content is designed to help technical and non-technical Googlers address the multifaceted ethical issues that arise in their work.

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics mentioned in Smart Industry.

mobile apps

New Technology Presents New Threats to Transparency in Government

"According to Hana Callaghan, director of government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, elected officials have a clear ethical responsibility to provide transparency and accountability to the people they serve, even if they do not have a legal one.

“'Just because something is legal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ethical,' she said."

Hana Callaghan quoted in ABC6 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci).

Board Meeting

Leading with Ethics

"As Ann Skeet, Senior Director of Leadership Ethics at the Markkula Center of Applied Ethics, explains in an article, 'Ethical leadership creates an environment where the goals and values of people working in the organization align with its mission.' If a leader is committed to ethical behavior, he or she should be able to make the decision that’s best for the company — even if that decision is against the leader’s best self-interest. It's often a case of choosing the greater good and putting your own ego aside."

Ann Skeet quoted in Forbes.


Google Revises AI Ethical Principles Following Controversies

"Google is refocusing attention on the principles surrounding its AI-related efforts following recent closures of its controversial Projects Dragonfly and Maven. The search giant is centering that around two distinct categories including the raising of employee awareness and reviews of both products and deals to ensure they adhere to its AI standards. Central to both sides of that is ethics, beginning with new training programs based on a Santa Clara University Markkula Center for Applied Ethics project. The course is intended to ensure that both technical and non-technical Google employees are equipped to handle 'multifaceted ethical issues' as they arise in day-to-day work."

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics mentioned in Android Headlines.

Sundar Pichai

Google’s Sundar Pichai’s Testimony

"'People really need to understand the privacy implications about things like location privacy, or intellectual privacy — when people feel their searches are being analyzed or collected,' said Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. But she said that’s not what the public is getting from the overly partisan hearings, which she says include lawmakers citing studies or reports about bias that have been debunked.

"'The hearings themselves become a sort of misinformation,' Raicu said."

Irina Raicu quoted in The Mercury News.

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File

Are Silicon Valley’s Autoreplies Taking Over Our Minds?

“In some circumstances, maybe in a work situation, suggested replies might make sense because there are a lot of canned responses you might need to use in a work environment,” Brian Patrick Green said. “I think when you’re talking to family or friends, it’s not really appropriate to be mechanizing that kind of interpersonal interaction.”

Brian Patrick Green quoted in The Daily Beast.