Ethics for Technologists Lecture

  • Gates Hillman Centers
  • Reddy Conference Room 4405
  • Senior Associate Dean for Research, College of Fine Arts
  • K&L Gates Associate Professor of Ethics and Computational Technologies
  • Associate Professor, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University

The Accidental Ethicist

Many of us walk into situations now where we need to deal with ethics in new ways—we're discovering that we're accidental ethicists. The stakes are high, and real questions of truth and harm lie in the balance. And the problem is that our existing frameworks may only be making things worse. What can accidental ethicists do? Molly Wright Steenson is a design professor and historian focused on AI and its impact over the last 60 years. At CMU, she's the K&L Gates Associate Professor of Ethics & Computational Technologies, the Senior Associate Dean for Research for the College of Fine Arts, and calls the School of Design home. Her work as an accidental ethicist crosses over all of these domains, from the history of Department of Defense funding to startup culture, and she'll discuss them in this talk.

Molly Wright Steenson is the K&L Gates Associate Professor of Ethics & Computational Technologies, Senior Associate Dean for Research in the College of Fine Art, and Associate Professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. A designer, writer, and historian, she is the author of "Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscape" (MIT Press, 2017), which traces the radical history of AI’s impact on design and architecture, and the co-editor of "Bauhaus Futures" (MIT Press, 2019), which has just been published this month. Molly cut her teeth on the Web in 1994 and has worked at groundbreaking design studios, consultancies, and Fortune 500 companies. She holds a PhD in Architecture from Princeton University and a master’s in architectural history from the Yale School of Architecture.

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