Jeremy Willinger's blog

Cathy O’Neil to the Ivory Tower: Stop ignoring the ethics risks in tech

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in most all aspects of modern business and social life is now ubiquitous. From wealth management, to hiring employees, assessing the effectiveness of teachers, and our news feeds, AI impacts most every aspect of our day-to-day life — whether or not we are aware of it.

As the use of AI has grown, so has a corresponding gap in the ability of many companies and people to explain what, how, and most importantly, why these bots make certain decisions.  In a NYT op-ed this week, Cathy O’Neil gives academics a call to action — the time has come to provide a deeper, and unbiased view of the risks of AI and the ethics challenges we face as their power and influence grows.

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The Flip Side of the Quarter: Only 25% of employees think colleagues model ethical behavior

A recent survey by Gartner (formerly CEB) indicates some bleak stats for companies —  the 2017 poll of 5,000 workers in the U.S. indicates that “only 25 percent of employees believe their teammates and colleagues engage in and model the right ethical behaviors.”

This is a lost opportunity for many organizations. Research that shows that running an ethical organization pays off financially in the long-run. The CEB/Gartner findings also indicate, “Employees from strong cultures of integrity are 90 percent less likely to observe misconduct and are more likely to report that which they do see. They are also more likely to over-perform on individual and team goals. Gartner also notes financial opportunities – notably, that companies with strong cultures of integrity have 10-year total shareholder returns 7 percentage points higher than companies with low perceptions of integrity.”

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ECI Webcast Recording: New Behavioral Science Tools from Ethical Systems

Azish Filabi (Executive Director of Ethical Systems) and Jeffrey Kaplan (ES collaboarator and Partner at Kaplan & Walker, LLP) recently led a webcast about ethics, research, and culture highlighting new behavioral science tools for the ethics and compliance field. The slides and recording are now available.

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Richard Thaler, The Nobel Prize and Nudge

All of us at Ethical Systems extend a hearty congratulations to Richard Thaler on the announcement of his Nobel Prize for his pioneering research around nudging.

From The New York Times announcement:

The Nobel committee, announcing the award in Stockholm, said that it was honoring Professor Thaler for his pioneering work in establishing that people are predictably irrational — that they consistently behave in ways that defy economic theory. People will refuse to pay more for an umbrella during a rainstorm; they will use the savings from lower gas prices to buy premium gasoline; they will offer to buy a coffee mug for $3 and refuse to sell it for $6.

The committee credited Professor Thaler, who teaches at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, for moving economics toward a more realistic understanding of human behavior, and for using the resulting insights to improve public policies, notably a sweeping shift toward the automatic enrollment of employees in retirement savings programs.

 

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Ethical Systems is a Compliance Officer Day Champion

Ethical Systems is honored to have been chosen as a Compliance Officer Day Champion. Compliance Officer Day, on September 26, is an annual event put on by SAI Global recognizing the professionals who have dedicated their careers to the field of ethics and compliance. The goal is to raise awareness of resources, support wellness, and promote growth among the ethics and compliance community.

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Our New Collaborator: Marshall Schminke

We welcome Marshall Schminke as our newest Ethical Systems collaborator. Marshall serves on the working group for our culture measurement project and is both a leading voice on business ethics in the media and in the classroom. 

Bio:
 

Marshall Schminke is the BB&T Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Central Florida, where he specializes in business ethics and strategy.  He received his doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, and has served as a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University and the London School of Economics. 

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Ethical Systems Releases New Behavioral Science eBook: Head to Head: A conversation on behavioral science and ethics

Ethical Systems Releases New Behavioral Science eBook: Head to Head: A conversation on behavioral science and ethics

New York, NY – Ethical Systems is pleased to announce the release of Head to Head: A conversation on behavioral science and ethics a new, free eBook created to help practitioners in the ethics and compliance field integrate social and behavioral science research to help strengthen employee-focused programs.

Structured as a series of one-on-one conversations between Ethical Systems CEO Azish Filabi and Ethical Systems collaborator, Jeffrey Kaplan, partner at Kaplan & Walker, LLP, Head to Head demystifies academic research and makes findings applicable to practitioners. Research is curated and explained to make integration into existing programs easy and serviceable. Filabi's deep expertise as a lawyer and work as an Ethics Officer at the NY Fed coupled with Kaplan's pioneering writing on conflict of interest and tenure within the legal community, make for an ideal background from which to distil information and make it palatable for the business world. In addition, Head to Head: A conversation on behavioral science and ethics has been professionally designed to structure content and facilitate the application of the many lessons and tips featured throughout the eBook.

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Introducing the Ethical Systems Culture Measurement Tool

Ethical culture is the linchpin to running an ethical organization. Yet, while everyone agrees that culture is a vital aspect of any successful organization there is no consensus on how to analyze and measure it. At Ethical Systems, we are working with the top researchers on organizational culture and have developed assessment tools that companies can use. Our new Ethical Systems Culture Measurement site provides a suite of modules designed to measure various elements of organizational culture.

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The Only Way is Ethics: A new whitepaper

We are pleased to announce a newly-released white paper in partnership with MindGym entitled The Only Way is Ethics: Why good people do bad things and how to stop us. This resource is a free, 44-page guide which presents research on why traditional solutions to managing ethics aren’t working, while also providing a set of tools and a framework to begin diagnosing your own organization alongside concrete advice for improvement. The Only Way is Ethics includes a foreward by Ethical Systems Founder/Director Jonathan Haidt and CEO Azish Filabi.

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Azish Filabi at The Banking & Finance Ethics 2017 Conference

Ethical Systems CEO Azish Filabi was invited to deliver the opening remarks at The Banking & Finance Ethics 2017 conference on June 8th in Sydney, Australia. The conference covered the importance of trust and an ethical foundation for the financial services sector; exploring the crucial role individuals play in ensuring that the industry operates with integrity. We present her address below

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