Inside INdiana Business

Notre Dame, IBM launch tech ethics lab

(photo courtesy of The University of Notre Dame)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The University of Notre Dame and New York-based IBM (NYSE: IBM) are launching a collaboration that intends to address ethical concerns raised by the use of advanced technologies. The university says the new Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab is being funded with a 10-year, $20 million investment from IBM.

The lab will analyze artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum computing to address societal problems. Notre Dame says the collaboration will promote models for the ethical application of technology within the tech sector, business and government.

“We are grateful to IBM for its leadership in technology and business ethics and for its support of research to form ethical foundations for emerging technologies,” said Thomas Burish, provost at the University of Notre Dame. “The convening power of our organizations will allow us to bring together leading scholars and industry leaders to truly champion responsible technology development as a force for good on a global scale.”

Based at the South Bend campus, the lab will operate as a separate unit within the university’s Technology Ethics Center. Notre Dame says the lab will leverage its technology ethics resources as well as IBM’s artificial intelligence expertise and industry connections.

“AI has tremendous potential to make our world smarter, healthier and more prosperous, but the technology raises ethical issues that are broader and more complex than those of past transformative technologies,” said John Kelly III, IBM’s executive vice president. “Ethical considerations are at the heart of how IBM brings technology into the world, and we are proud to partner with Notre Dame to create the Tech Ethics Lab and elevate the role that ethics will play in the global dialogue.”

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The university says the lab will serve as the convener for technology-related ethics expertise and will aim to bring together academia and industry to develop frameworks to address new and emerging technologies. Notre Dame says its work will be especially important as technology moves the world through the coronavirus pandemic.