The Ethics of AI

Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Time: 6:00pm-8:30pm
Location: Santa Clara University
De Saisset Museum
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050



In the early years Big Data was a topic of interest only for large social media companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook. Today, however, technologies like smart phones, intelligent sensors, driver-assisted cars and machine learning have made big data an integral part of everyday life. It has changed business processes (work), enabled personal flexibility (live) and enhanced entertainment (play) that have forever changed our lives.

Please join ACG Silicon Valley’s expert Keynote panel and learn what the future has in store for society with Big Data involving medicine, industry, transportation, business and your own personal lives.


Our Distinguished Panel


Shannon Vallor

Regis and Dianne McKenna
Professor, Dept of Philosophy
Santa Clara University

Shannon is the Regis and Dianne McKenna Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley, a consulting AI Ethicist supporting Google Cloud AI and a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics.

Shannon’s research explores the philosophy and ethics of emerging science and technologies. Her work investigates how human character is being transformed by rapid advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, new social media, surveillance, and biomedical technologies, and appears in journals such as Ethics and Information Technology, Philosophy & Technology, and Techne, as well as a 2016 book from Oxford University Press: Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting. Shannon is the editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Technology and is currently working on a new book on the subject of artificial intelligence and ethics: The AI Mirror: Rebuilding Humanity in an Age of Machine Thinking. Recent professional honors include the 2015 World Technology Award in Ethics.


John Markoff

Fellow, Center for Advanced Study Behavioral Sciences, Inc.
Former Sr. Writer
New York Times

John Markoff, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote for The New York Times’ science and technology beat for 28 years, where he was widely regarded as the paper’s star technology reporter. He is currently a journalist in residence at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2013, Markoff was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team for Explanatory Reporting “for its penetrating look into business practices by Apple and other technology companies that illustrates the darker side of a changing global economy for workers and consumers.”

John’s books include: The High Cost of High Tech (with Lennie Siegel); Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier (with Katie Hafner); Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of America’s Most Wanted Computer Outlaw (with Tsutomu Shimomura); What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry; and Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots. John is currently working on a biography of Stewart Brand.


Rumman Chowdhury, Ph.D.

Senior Principal, AI
Accenture Applied Intelligence

Rumman’s passion lies at the intersection of artificial intelligence and humanity. She holds degrees in quantitative social science and has been a practicing data scientist and AI developer since 2013. She is currently the Global Lead for Responsible AI at Accenture Applied Intelligence, where she works with C-suite clients to create cutting-edge technical solutions for ethical, explainable and transparent AI.

Rumman has been featured in international media, including the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, MIT Technology Review, BBC, Axios, Cheddar TV, CRN, Fast Company, Quartz, Corrierre Della Serra, Optio, Australian Broadcasting Channel and Nikkei Business Times.
She is a TedX speaker, a Forbes Tech contributing author and has been named by InformationWeek as one of 10 influential AI and machine learning experts to follow on Twitter. She was also named one of BBC’s 100 Women for 2017, recognized as one of the Bay Area’s top 40 under 40, and honoured to be inducted to the British Royal Society of the Arts (RSA).

Rumman serves as co-chair of the RSA’s Citizen AI Jury and actively participates in IEEE standards committees, the Partnership on AI, as an advisor to the UK House of Lords Parliamentary group on AI, and other global AI and ethics organizations. She holds two undergraduate degrees from MIT, a master’s degree in Quantitative Methods of the Social Sciences from Columbia University, and a doctorate in political science from the University of California, San Diego.


Tom Gruber

Researcher, Designer and Entrepreneur

Tom is a researcher, designer, and entrepreneur, with a focus on technology to augment human intelligence. He was cofounder, CTO and VP Design for Siri, which created the first intelligent assistant for everyone. Siri was started in 2008, launched in early 2010, and soon after became part of Apple. Siri is now intrinsic to the Apple ecosystem, available on every new iPhone, iPad, Watch, Apple TV, and Mac. Siri is used around the world over 2 billion times a week. At Apple, Tom leads Advanced Development to bring AI to the UI for current and future products.

Tom has also applied AI to support collective human intelligence. His research at Stanford in Artificial Intelligence, particularly ontology engineering, helped lay the groundwork for semantic information sharing and the Semantic Web. He has created several products and companies that support human collaboration and knowledge sharing. He invented HyperMail, the widely used open-source application that turns email conversations into collective memories on the Web. He was founder and CTO of Intraspect Software, which pioneered the space of Collaborative Knowledge Management — software that helps large communities of professionals contribute to and learn from a collective body of knowledge. He designed and built, a popular collective knowledge system where travelers from around the world share their experiences.

Tom has been involved in an advisory role with LinkedIn, SocialText, Internet Archive, Mindjet, (Radar Networks), and Powerset (now Microsoft).


Our Distinguished Moderator


Brian Green

Director, Technology Ethics
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Santa Clara University

Brian is the director of technology ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. His responsibilities include representing the Center at the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, speaking and publishing on AI ethics as well as various other topics in ethics and technology, and coordinating the Center’s partnership with The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. Green reviews and evaluates applications to the Center’s Hackworth grant program which awards funding to SCU faculty, staff, and students for work in applied ethics. He also coordinates the Technology and Ethics Faculty Group, helps coach and coordinate the University’s Ethics Bowl team, works with the Center’s Environmental Ethics Fellows, and several other initiatives. In addition, Green teaches engineering ethics in the Graduate School of Engineering.

Brian’s background includes doctoral and master’s degrees in ethics and social theory from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. His undergraduate degree is in genetics from the University of California, Davis, and he has conducted molecular biology research in both academic and industrial settings.