Introductory session for Stanford Course: The Ethics of Technological Disruption.
In 2001 Google adopted the tagline “Don’t Be Evil” to describe its corporate code of conduct. In 2015 when Google was restructured within its parent conglomerate, Alphabet, the motto was replaced by “Do the Right Thing,” which remains the corporation’s tagline today. Though particular to one company, these mottos reflect and help shape attitudes across the technology industry more broadly—even gesturing toward something like a Hippocratic Oath. Although brevity is their virtue, both mottos also raise essential questions, starting with this one: Do they set a high bar or a low bar? And, more to the point, have technologists given enough thought to the world they’re making, to the dislocations they’re enabling, and to the lives and livelihoods they are often unknowingly changing, both here at home and across the world?
With Reid Hoffman (Co-Founder, LinkedIn; Partner, Greylock Partners) and Nicole Wong (Former Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the United States; Former Legal Director of Products, Twitter ; Former Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Google).