Ethics News Roundup – Artificial Intelligence, Ethics Violations, Forged Vaccination Cards, & More

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November 5, 2022


Technology

How well can an AI mimic human ethics?
“The skeptical stance here is, of course, that there’s nothing “under the hood”: There’s no deep sense in which the AI actually understands ethics and uses its comprehension of ethics to make moral judgments. All it has learned is how to predict the response that a Mechanical Turk user would give.”

Technology And Covid-19: The Perfect Storm For Ethics Violations
“Technology’s impact on finance and accounting is a topic continually under scrutiny. For many it is a savior (eliminating manual and routine work, creating new ways of generating value), but it can also be viewed as a Pandora’s Box (with its users fearful of what unleashing it may bring – think the black box of AI often revealing itself as algorithmic bias). But no matter where you fall on the wide continuum of technology opportunity and risk, with Covid-19, technology became the mechanism by which society was able to work efficiently and relatively seamlessly. With lockdowns and other restrictions on being in a physical office, remote and hybrid work became more widespread than they have ever been in history.”

‘Game-changing’ technologies like AI raise issues of ethics and philosophy: DBS CEO
“He noted that there are challenges in the ethical use of AI, even as the technology is increasingly being used in workplace processes such as marketing and human resources.”

An Ethics Bounty System Could Help Clean Up the Web
“Right now, hundreds of companies and organizations, great and small, offer bounties ranging from thousands to millions of dollars to those who find vulnerabilities in their code that bad actors could exploit…For users, a bounty system would encourage people to search for ethics violations and report them more quickly. “

Politics

“State ethics commission won’t rescind approval for Cuomo book deal
“New York state’s ethics commission on Tuesday failed to muster enough votes to revoke approval of a $5.1 million book contract for ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo as scrutiny over the panel’s handling of the deal continues.”

Watchdog: Psaki Violated Ethics Law by Promoting McAuliffe
“Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said Psaki violated the Hatch Act when she appeared to endorse McAuliffe during a White House press briefing on Thursday. The Hatch Act prevents federal employees from engaging in political work while performing their official duties.”

Indicted Former City Club President Fined $75K by Ethics Board for Violating Lobbying Rules
“The Chicago Board of Ethics fined the indicted former head of the City Club of Chicago $75,000 for violating the city’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance by failing to disclose that he lobbied city officials on behalf of three clients, officials announced Tuesday.”

Outside Ethics Group Says 7 House Lawmakers Didn’t Disclose Stock Trades
“One of the members of Congress — Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York — failed to file required reports on approximately 300 transactions, according to the complaint from the Campaign Legal Center.  Five of the seven lawmakers sit on the powerful House Financial Services Committee. It’s the latest example of a bipartisan trend that has emerged almost 10 years after Congress overwhelmingly passed a law to provide transparency and show lawmakers aren’t profiting from their jobs: Members of Congress are ignoring the disclosure law.”

Economics & Business

Fed’s Embarrassing Ethics Scandal Spurs Calls for More Oversight
“While the questions about financial dealings have broadened — Senator Elizabeth Warren included transactions by Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida in urging the Securities Exchange Commission investigate for possible insider trading –- regional Feds remain in focus. “The notion of a quasi-public private institution that has a direct vote on monetary policy and such a low level of transparency undermines democratic accountability,” said Brookings Institution senior fellow Sarah Binder. She said the Fed needs a degree of transparency that matches its expanding footprint in the economy, which grew even more during the pandemic.”

What Do the Federal Reserve’s New Ethics Rules and Other Changes Mean?
On Oct. 21, the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, announced a set of new ethics rules that will regulate the type of financial transactions Fed leadership and senior staff can make. Powell’s statement came after harsh criticism of recent market trades, primarily by two Federal Reserve Bank presidents, although Powell and other Fed officials have also come under scrutiny.

A Beautiful Application: Using Economics to Make Kidney Exchanges More Efficient and Fair
“The U.S. currently has multiple “kidney exchange platforms,” Akbarpour says. From an economic perspective, this is inefficient; the larger the pool, the greater the potential for matches. Uniting different regional exchanges would improve transplant numbers. If done carefully, the potential pool of paired exchanges could even be expanded internationally.”

Why Culture And Ethics Are More Important Than Ever
“…But a report out this week suggests that organisations could go a long way to dealing with the lack of a sense of fairness or belonging by being more explicit about living up to an ethical culture.”

Medicine & Research

The climate crisis gives science a new role. Here’s how research ethics must change too
“Young people across the world have taken to the streets again, demanding decision-makers at COP26 listen to the science. But if science is to live up to these expectations, a fundamental rethinking of research ethics in light of the climate and ecological crises is needed.”

Chronic pain management: What is the role of medical ethics?
““I would rather die than not have lived at all.” These words resonated with me as I was listening to the chronic pain management session at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) annual conference. Working in clinics as a medical student, I have seen this thought manifest in all corners of medicine.”


Media

How Only Murders in the Building Grapples With the Thorny Ethics of True-Crime Podcasting
“True crime podcasts vary wildly in terms of their moral code. Some podcasters don’t even purport to be journalists, just entertainers who scroll through Wikipedia and recount grisly attacks while sipping on glasses of wine. Other endeavor to adhere to journalistic standards but lack the oversight of editors at a traditional publication or a podcast production company’s ethical guidelines. It can be difficult for listeners to tease out what is a well-made show, and what’s just a salacious one.”

‘Squid Game’ on Netflix is smarter than you think
“’Squid Game’ is the latest entrant into a growing collection of films and shows — including “The Hunt,” “The Platform,” “The Hunger Games” series and “Black Mirror” — that use dystopian games with life-or-death stakes to dramatize the cutthroat ethics of pitting desperate masses against each other in a fight for unequally distributed resources. Each work of art literalizes commonly used metaphors for the indignities of capitalism: It is not symbolizing a dehumanizing race operating under a false banner of meritocracy; it is one.”

Journalism

Katie Couric’s ethics are questioned for concealing Justice Ginsburg’s comments
“Journalist Katie Couric admits that she decided not to report some comments by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, raising questions about Couric’s track record when it comes to journalism ethics.”

Adam Schefter, ‘Mr. Editor,’ and the disregarding of journalism ethics
“No matter whether the “Mr. Editor” line was tongue-in-cheek or not, Schefter committed a major violation of journalism ethics by sending Allen the story in full and encouraging him to make changes. It is good form to be forthcoming with sources about the tone and contents of a story, let them know which quotes are being used, and give them an opportunity to add further context.”

Sports

Chicago Sky Owner Pays $5,000 Ethics Fine for Lobbying Lightfoot Without Registering
“The owner of the WNBA world champion Chicago Sky paid a $5,000 fine to resolve charges brought by the Chicago Board of Ethics that he violated the city’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance, officials announced Tuesday.”

NHL Player Suspended 21 Games for Forging Vaccination Card
“The National Hockey League has suspended San Jose Sharks’ forward Evander Kane after an investigation found that he submitted a forged vaccination card earlier this year. He will be barred from playing for 21 games and forgo $1.68 million of his $7 million salary, with the forfeited cash going toward the league’s Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.”

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