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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.


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The ChatGPT Lawyer Explains Himself

Steven A. Schwartz, the lawyer who relied on A.I. via ChatGPT to craft a legal brief for a case in Federal District Court containing case law was in court to testify about his decision to use the legal motion filled with fake judicial opinion and legal citations. Schwartz claims he “did not comprehend” that the chat bot could contain false information.

Irina Raicu, who directs the internet ethics program at Santa Clara University, said this week that the Avianca case clearly showed what critics of such models have been saying, “which is that the vast majority of people who are playing with them and using them don’t really understand what they are and how they work, and in particular what their limitations are.”

Irina Raicu, director, internet ethics, quoted by The New York Times.


Signage for LIV Golf is displayed during the pro-am round of the Bedminster Invitational LIV Golf tournament in Bedminster, NJ., Thursday, July 28, 2022. Seth Wenig/AP Photo, File
LIV Golf, PGA Tour Merger Bring Money, Power and Ethics to Forefront

LIV Golf and the PGA Tour announced a merger, putting an end to the public media feud between the two organizations as well as withdrawal of a growing number of lawsuits against the Saudi-backed LIV. The decision leaves many questions about ethics, morals and principles.

For Don Heider, professor and chief executive of the Ethics Center at Santa Clara University, the answer is clear.

“People will take a principle stand when they don’t have principles,” Heider said. “It’s remarkable what money will do.”

Based on the Saudi government’s principles and violent history, Heider said, “there is no moral ambiguity here” considering their “abominable track record.” As a result, he believes, Saudi Arabia is participating in “sportswashing” – the concept that through sport, they might be attempting to improve their worldwide reputation.


Don Heider, executive director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted by Cronkite News.



Seth Wenig/AP Photo, File

Rapid Advancements in Technology: Are Things Going too Fast?

The Voice of Islam DriveTime Show Podcast dated 06-06-2023 discussed technology from self-driving busses to enhanced AI chatbots and asks, "Have we considered the ethics and implications AI is having on the very fabric of society and how we work?"

Brian Green, director, technology ethics joined the discussion at 1:11:13 and talks about the present and future of technology advancements and morals and ethics and human values.

"One of the big things to keep in mind is that artificial intelligence is already very much in social media and on the internet in order to direct our attention toward particular things to see and this is very clear when it comes to advertising but comes up a lot with misinformation, political information and information related to ethics and values trying to manipulate how we think about things. And if you can change the way people think about things you can change the way they act in the world, so these things will be impactful on the world in changing the ways people think. How are we going to try and maintain our own kind of thinking when we have social media and other forms of media trying to direct us in particular ways?"

Brian Green, director, technology ethics, interviewed by Voice of Islam.


A Framework for Ethical Decision Making
Making Music With AI? Start With These Ethical Guidelines

"Despite the lack of music-specific and end-user specific ethical frameworks, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is a wealth of valuable resources for developing practical ethics in action. Their Ethical Decision Making resource covers various industries, professional paths and personal use cases for applied ethics, including an evergreen framework for anyone and everyone, an Ethics in Technology Practice guide for tech developers and a section dedicated to generative AI. Adapting their guidance can help bridge the gaps in existing ethical frameworks towards responsible AI use for music."

Ethics Center Resources and A Framework for Ethical Decision Making referenced by Resident Advisor.

Ethical Gift Acceptance: A Guide for Non Profit Organizations
Dealing With Disreputable Donors

“Most colleges have a gift-acceptance policy that hopefully guides the higher officials, like a president, that would give them some guidance in terms of who they can accept gifts from and what the considerations are,” said Don Heider, executive director for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, who stressed the need for an established policy.

“The time to think about these things isn’t at the moment or afterwards; the time to think through your policy is beforehand,” Heider said. “Then there’s a sense of clarity and values early on.”

The Markkula Center encourages potential recipients to identify ethical issues, gather all relevant facts, weigh stakeholder concerns and evaluate possible conflicts with the organization’s mission and values.

Don Heider, executive director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics quoted by Inside Higher Ed.

How the Media is Covering ChatGPT

For Subramaniam Vincent, director of the Journalism and Media Ethics program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, one recurring issue with media coverage of this technology is “that it tends to be led by what the companies say this technology is going to do.” That’s a structural problem not tied just to ChatGPT. Moreover, he added, “the CEOs of these companies go to Twitter and social media and start making their own claims to control the narrative about AI.”

Subramaniam Vincent, director of the Journalism and Media Ethics program, quoted by Columbia Journalism Review.

Sanket Mishra/Pexels

The war in Ukraine is a Challenge for a Catholic Ethic of Nonviolence

David DeCosse, director of religious and Catholic ethics with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics writes:

"I have argued that Ukraine is right on just war grounds to be defending itself against Russian aggression. While I support many aspects of the church's turn to nonviolence in the last years, I believe that the response of Christian nonviolence to the war in Ukraine has been flawed, not only because it has been powerless to stop the aggression but also for conceptual reasons.

Three conceptual challenges for a Catholic ethic of nonviolence raised by the war in Ukraine include to engage just war theory on its own terms; to engage the price and purpose of Ukrainian sovereignty; and to find a better story."

David DeCosse, director of religious and Catholic ethics, published in National Catholic Reporter.

Two hands reaching across a table in a handshake. The reflection of their hands can be seen in the glass tabletop.
Lou Cartier: Best Workplaces

Business ethics resources from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics featured on the Greeley Tribune.

Lou Cartier, a professor at Aims Community College located in Greeley, Colorado coaches his students on the importance of testing for “ethical awareness” as a distinct measure of a desirable workplace using resources from the Ethics Center, including Hiring Tips to Evaluate Ethics, written by Sarah Cabral, senior scholar, business ethics.

Business ethics resources from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics featured on the Greeley Tribune.

A microphone, sound waves, and technology icons and symbols.
Voice Wars: The Rise of AI Clones That Blur the Line Between Humans and Machines

“Voice cloning is a risky technology because it can make it exceedingly difficult to know if we are actually speaking to the person whom we associate with that voice. This is not a problem in face-to-face communications, but on the telephone, or through other voice-centric media, this could lead to dangerous deceptions such as impersonation, fraud, extortion, and other forms of manipulation,” says Brian Green, Director of Technology Ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University.


Brian Green, director, technology ethics, quoted by The Economic Times of India.


MarcusMillo/Getty Images via Canva for Education

The Possibility of a Just War

As DeCosse observes, “In the face of overwhelming odds, the Ukrainians fought back,” a feat that leads him to ask, “What are the implications of their decision to engage in a war of self-defense for the current debate within Catholicism over the rejection of just war theory in favor of Christian nonviolence?”

David DeCosse, director religious and Catholic ethics, quoted by Commonweal Magazine.

Associated Press

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