Tech Ethics Lab

Organization at University of Notre Dame created in 2020 through a partnership with IBM. Mission: To promote human values in technology with the ultimate aim of helping steer technological design, development, deployment, and use in the direction of more equity and justice. We do this by producing and supporting tangible, applied, and interdisciplinary research projects that address core ethical questions.

The Tech Ethics Lab promotes broad-based, far-reaching interdisciplinary research, thought, and policy leadership in artificial intelligence and other technology ethics by engaging with relevant stakeholders to examine real-world challenges and provide practical models and applied solutions for ethical technology design, development, and deployment.

We also create third party industry alliances and facilitate dialogue and debate regarding technology ethics, help develop preeminent standards related to the moral and ethical use of technology, and seek to inform technology-related laws, policies, and governance.

Ethics is fundamentally about values and values-based determinations. Our work and operations are guided by the following core values: 

  • Equity and Justice — Given the profound consequences for humans both individually and collectively, technology design, development, and deployment must center the human experience. Unfortunately, marginalized individuals and communities are often left behind by technological developments or else faced with the biggest ethical challenges and civil and human rights abuses from their use. We support projects that seek to address and avoid these disparities and ensure that the commercial, social, political, and economic benefits of new technologies are enjoyed equitably by all. 
  • Honesty and Integrity — Engaging with core ethical challenges related to the design, development, and use of new and advanced technologies is not without risk. While striving for honesty and integrity in our work, we expect to be vulnerable, make mistakes, and be wrong at times. In order to build trust and in the spirit of transparency, we seek to acknowledge our missteps and mistakes in the process.
  • Diversity, Inclusivity, and Interdisciplinarity — We believe that diversity, inclusivity, and interdisciplinarity are critical in any meaningful conversation about technology ethics as the evolution of technology impacts everyone’s future. We aim to support, include, and incorporate the insights and perspectives of a wide array of individuals and communities across racial, cultural, gender, intellectual, socioeconomic, and other dimensions of diversity, including across a wide array of disciplines, sectors, and areas of expertise.   
  • Impact, Action, Practice — We are interested in impact and taking thoughtful, considered action. By supporting practical, applied projects and convening diverse stakeholders, we aim to bridge the gap between theory and implementation, transform theoretical frameworks into practice, and operationalize policy recommendations and best practices.