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USC Hosts Next Generation Ethics Conference

USC Hosts Next Generation Ethics Conference. Self-driving cars, net neutrality, social media and elections prompt ethics questions.

A pedestrian fatality involving an Uber autonomous car and use of Facebook account information by the political firm Cambridge Analytica are just a few of the headlines lately stoking discussions about ethics. On Friday, March 30, the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making will host a day-long conference, “Next Generation Ethics,” focused on these and other topics with experts from research institutions, and the public and private sectors.

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From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 30, the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making will host the “Next Generation Ethics Conference” at USC’s Town & Gown to discuss topical ethics issues in business, technology and medicine, as well as policy, filmmaking, research, and religion.

Panelists will discuss questions such as:

  • How will changes in net neutrality impact everyday life?
  • How will self-driving cars change the world, and what are the ethical implications?
  • What is the future of automation in industry? Should we be worried? What are the ethical dilemmas?
  • How can Americans decide if it is safe to release private information to another party?
  • What can the world do to protect elections from undue online influence?
  • How will new discoveries in medicine change society and what are the unexpected consequences?
  • How can policy makers keep up with technologies such as artificial intelligence?
  • Should we be able to edit our genetic code with CRISPR Cas9 gene-editing technology? What if someone else edits our genetic code?

More information is here.

The Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making is a joint center of the USC Marshall School of BusinessUSC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Price School of Public Policy. The center is directed by Ali Abbas, a professor of engineering and public policy.


Experts at the conference who will lead discussions on ethical questions about timely issues and trends are:

  • Ali Abbas, director of USC’s Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making
  • Andrea Armani, professor of chemical engineering at USC Viterbi School and the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience
  • Timothy Blute, director of the National Governors Association Future office, which advises governors on policy matters for emerging technologies
  • Ted Braun, associate professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts and documentary film producer
  • Alexander Capron, biotethicist and University Professor of law and medicine for Keck School of Medicine of USC and USC Gould School of Law
  • Gunnar Carlsson, expert in topology (the use of mathematics to study shape) and professor emeritus of mathematics at Stanford University
  • Vint Cerf, “the father of the internet,” vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google
  • Gary Cook, managing director of Cook & Company
  • Kenneth Fletcher, former chief risk officer for the Transportation Security Administration
  • Marsha Ershaghi Hames, global executive management advisor in corporate ethics and compliance programs
  • Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University
  • Randall Hill, executive director of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies
  • Marianne Jennings, emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University
  • Jessica Levinson, president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission
  • Naj Meshkati, professor of civil and environmental engineering for USC Viterbi School
  • James O’Toole, professor and director emeritus of Neely Center for Ethical Leadership
  • Max Senges, head of Google Hardwar’s User Resarch team and visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law
  • Frank Zerunyan, professor of practice at the USC Price School

Other USC speakers are:


8 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, March 30


USC Town & Gown, 665 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90089

More information about the conference is here.


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