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Date: 2024-07-14 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00016213

Event / Workshop
Tech 2025

Visions of the Future: the Manifestos and Moral Philosophies of Big Tech Companies and Their CEOs (workshop)

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess
Tech2025 ABOUT MISSION AI EVENTS PODCAST BLOG CONTACT MISSION AI Workshop Visions of the Future: the Manifestos and Moral Philosophies of Big Tech Companies and Their CEOs (workshop) WORKSHOP INSTRUCTOR GUEST SPEAKER FACILITATOR AGENDA About this Workshop Participants can attend live event in NYC or via the video livestream in our private forum -- accessible via the web and mobile app. All participants will be given password access to the private forum for live chat with fellow attendees, the Q&A and two additional lessons that will be uploaded to the forum. Workshop limited to 50 attendees at live workshop in NY and 50 attendees for private livestream. Livestream video and workshop resources, exercises and discussion forum will be available up to 2 weeks after workshop. Instructor: Oriana Medlicott (AI Ethics Strategist and Research Facilitator) Guest Speaker: Ge Wang (Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, author of Artful Design: Technology In Search of the Sublime (a comic book manifesto) Overview 'There are no morals about technology at all. Technology expands our ways of thinking about things, expands our ways of doing things. If we're bad people we use technology for bad purposes and if we're good people we use it for good purposes.' -- Herbert A. Simon Instructor: Oriana Medlicott Last year was a year of reckoning for big tech companies that faced fierce backlash from the media, researchers, legislators, consumers and even their own employees, over allegations of unethical practices. Just the same, 2018 was the year that the general public finally learned (after 10 years of engaging on social platforms, carefree) just how much data, power and influence big tech companies have in all areas of society and our lives (business, politics, education, media, our most private moments) and just how little we know and understand about their intentions to monetize consumer data and the future they are creating with powerful AI technologies. In a graphic timeline, NYU's AI Now Institute outlined the tumultuous year of ethics scandals that rocked big tech companies in 2018. This much is undeniable, there is a huge disconnect between the way CEOs of big tech companies view their ethical and moral obligations to their employees, shareholders, consumers and society at large, and what the general public thinks. The moral compass of big tech companies is most often ingrained in their carefully worded manifesto. Tech company founders have long since embraced publishing corporate manifestos as a declaration of their intent, beliefs, morals, and ethical obligations -- it's their rallying cry to employees to build the company of the future, and their unwavering expression of loyalty to customers: 'A good corporate manifesto becomes a blueprint for exemplar attitudes and actions, and is a constant reminder of the need to ‘walk the talk’. It makes it clear to everyone who you are, what you stand for, what you do and why you do it. Little wonder…manifesto in Latin translates to ‘clear and evident’... manifestos have energy, they make a declaration, take a stance, and stand for something important. Corporate manifestos are powerful!' -- Brand Council Mark Zuckerberg's recently published manifesto, The Global Community (2017) was panned by almost everyone -- called a 'blueprint for destroying journalism' and a 'political train wreck' by journalists; Apple's manifesto, Here's to the Crazy Ones (1997), crafted under the leadership of Steve Jobs, is now legendary and credited with inspiring a generation of technological innovation and changed our culture in countless ways; Jeff Bezos' Day 1 manifesto (1997 ) is considered the seminal philosophy upon which he built Amazon's empire; and Satya Nadella's 'giant manifesto,' emailed to Microsoft employees when he took over the reigns as CEO in 2014, was considered a shocking doctrine that demolished Microsoft's old way of thinking and introduced a radical blueprint for propelling the company into the future (Nadella's philosophy is credited with Microsoft's miraculous come-back). Topics We Will Explore If corporate manifestos are so effective, why are tech companies struggling so much with ethical scandals that are inflicting major damage on their business models, revenues and employee morale? What do the manifestos of tech companies and their CEOs tell us about their moral philosophies? How can we begin to become more knowledgeable about the intentions of tech companies (as outlined in their corporate manifestos and other doctrine) and, when necessary, hold them accountable for how they implement their vision and their missteps when they falter? Are corporate manifestos of tech companies and their CEOs reflecting who we are today (in all of our diversity and complexities). Are these manifestos reflecting where we want to go as a society in the future and are they taking into account the potentially negative impact their AI technologies might have on society despite their best, utopian intentions? Guest Speaker: Ge Wang on the His New Comic Book Manifesto Ge Wang Ge Wang, Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), will join us via video livestream in our private online forum (accessible via web and mobile app) to discuss his new, innovative book, Artful Design: Technology In Search of the Sublime (a comic book manifesto for these times), published in 2018. After giving a presentation about his book (which he is teaching as a course at Stanford University for the first time), Ge will do an interactive Q&A with attendees. Recent article about the book: Stanford polymath blazes a new trail with his design manifesto About the Book: Artful Design — With the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Wang has spent the last three years creating a 488-page, full-color photo comic book about how humankind shapes technology and, in turn, how technology shapes humankind. Artful Design is meticulously designed in the medium of a photo comic. It is uncompromising (it requires some thinking) yet accessible (due to its unconventional visual format). A book about the soul of design, it is itself an artifact of design. The world of Artful Design is revealed both conceptually and concretely through the design of musical instruments, mobile apps like Ocarina, games, toys, and social experiences. It contains over 100 principles of artful design, and 'design etudes' (e.g., expressive exercises) for the reader to explore and enact in everyday life. Across its eight chapters, the book builds an overarching practical philosophy of artful design. Yup. This is a supremely nerdy book. 'What we make, makes us.' -- Ge Wang Takeaways Instructor, Oriana Medlicott (AI Ethics Strategist and Research Facilitator), will review the corporate manifestos of big tech companies including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Mozilla and Google and several tech CEOs including Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Satya Nadella, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook and correlate them to philosophical schools of thought. Learn the crucial elements of creating a successful corporate manifesto and why some manifestos miss the mark. Explore how the most powerful CEOs in the world communicate their philosophies to the world through their corporate manifestos, what those philosophies are and how they define product development and customer service. Create your own powerful manifesto. There will be an exercise to be completed in our online forum during the workshop. Please bring a laptop or mobile device to access the internet. Online attendees will participate via the livestream in the forum.
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