A desk with a computer monitor and keyboard. The monitor displays the words "Do more" in large font.

I have been thinking about moral awakenings. Since coming to the University of Maastricht in February 2021, I have spent a fair amount of time getting to know my colleagues in data science and machine learning. In meeting after meeting, my colleagues in these disciplines insist that “all technology isContinue Reading

The great paradox of social media is that it has both brought us closer together and driven us further apart. We can stay in contact with old friends, cheer each other on from afar, and help strangers in real time. Yet, we’re also flooded with viral videos, sensationalized headlines, andContinue Reading

The good life and a good cup of coffee

What does it mean to live a good life? It’s a simple enough question. Answering it not so simple. Philosophers, ethicists, and anyone working for the common good have wrestled with this question for hundreds of years. It is complicated. What does it actually mean to live a good (orContinue Reading

News that Italy is pointing AI-enhanced cameras at museum visitors has caused a flurry of despair on surveillance ethics Twitter. Here’s what’s happening: The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy, and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) is placing cameras next to certain pieces of art at the Istituzione Bologna Musei.Continue Reading

In parts one and two of this series I explored the idea of “data as exhaust” and “data as people.” Here, I will argue that data is neither of those things individually, but is instead a relationship. There is an old Buddhist story in which an enlightened monk is invitedContinue Reading

In my last post, I explored one of the growing ways in which data scientists view personal data: as digital exhaust. Today, I want to explore another perspective: that personal data is, in fact, people.   In a 2016 article for Aeon, historian Rebecca Lemov argues compellingly that “data isContinue Reading

In September 2019, Microsoft head researcher Peter Lee spoke at the annual meeting of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) in Pittsburgh, PA. During his talk, he proclaimed that “data is the digital exhaust of human thought and activity.” It is a sentiment he has expressed in atContinue Reading

When I left my corporate job of sixteen years to begin a year-long sabbatical I had no idea just how deeply it would change me. Over the course of that year, I touched the bones of dinosaurs and gazed upon cave paintings made by early humans. I walked on oneContinue Reading

The Ethics of Pharmaceutical Marketing to Physicians Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of your television wondering, “How many of these drug commercials am I going to have to watch?” Well, wonder no longer. The answer, according to a new JAMA analysis, is 663,000. Yes, 663,000. That’s howContinue Reading

Strength of character is a wonderful thing. Most people strive to live with integrity and authenticity. They try to be honest, to treat others fairly, and to be compassionate. It’s no surprise that businesses want to hire people who exhibit “strength of character,” and there’s reason to believe it’s worthContinue Reading