There is no doubt that technology is developing at breakneck speeds. More specifically, artificial intelligence (AI) has propelled us from information technology to transformation technology, aiming to bring us from operational efficiency to scalable predictability. Whilst there are many notable differentiators, one thing Industry 4.0 has in common with prior industrial revolutions is the clear impact on economics and society. Many of us can agree that technology has both the ability to bring us together and to widen the gaps between us. Once again, we are called to the challenge of protecting fundamentals, such as privacy and human rights, to ensure that the resulting decision trees and outcomes uphold ethical virtues.
We invite you to join this conversation with Dr. Hafrey and Prof. Trout, two esteemed MIT faculty practicing and teaching ethics in different yet integral ways. Together, we'll look at professional ethics in history, where we stand today, and our current trajectory. They will tackle questions, such as: How do you practice ethics at work? How can your company practice and model ethics? What are the pitfalls, and in what ways does technology help resolve or enhance them? What can we do to ensure we use AI for summum bonum - supreme good?
Bernhardt L. Trout is the Raymond F. Baddour, ScD, (1949) Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the MIT Society, Engineering, and Ethics Program. He received his S.B. and S.M. degrees from MIT and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition, he performed post-doctoral research at the Max-Planck Institute.
After having integrated humanities in engineering courses for over a decade, in 2009, with several colleagues, Trout started the MIT Society, Engineering, and Ethics Program. Its aim is to broaden and deepen the understanding of MIT engineering students, focusing on the societal and ethical implications of engineering. He has taught Ethics for Engineers to undergraduates at MIT for over a decade and recently launched a version focusing on the Ethics of AI. He also co-teaches a course on the Ethics of AI for professionals through MIT Short Programs. He is on the Editorial Boards of both AI and Ethics and The AI Ethics Journal. His research focuses on applications of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics together with experiments to develop pharmaceutical products and processes. This includes developing advanced manufacturing technologies, public outreach, and the application of machine learning to pharmaceutical product design. He is co-editor of the 2016 volume Mastery of Nature and has published over 200 technical papers with 18 patents issued or pending.
Leigh Hafrey is Senior Lecturer in Behavioral and Policy Sciences at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Since 1995, he has offered courses in communication, ethics, and leadership in the MBA and other graduate programs in the U.S. and abroad. He has also taught at Harvard Business School; served as co-Master of Mather House, one of the undergraduate residences in Harvard College; and for more than 20 years has moderated seminars in programs of the Aspen Institute, an international educational and policy studies organization focused on values-driven leadership. He serves on the boards of the Green Rural Opportunities Fund, a spin-off of the Butajira, Ethiopia-based GreenPath Food, and ClassACT HR73, an alumni initiative of the Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1973.
A former staff editor at The New York Times Book Review, Hafrey has published translations from French and German and columns, feature articles, essays, reviews, and interviews in The New York Times and other periodicals, as well as blog posts and business case studies for MIT Sloan. He is the author of two books on values and leadership, The Story of Success: Five Steps to Mastering Ethics in Business (2005) and War Stories: Fighting, Competing, Imagining, Leading (2016). Hafrey holds an A.B. in English Literature from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University.