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2020 Highlights for AI and Faith

Like everyone else, the COVID pandemic upended our expectations for 2020, but it’s still been a good year for exploration and engagement.  Here is a short list of some of what we accomplished in the past 11 months.

  • Expanded our expert community by approximately two dozen additional Founding Expert experts and recommencing regular engagement with these experts. We now have 65 Founding Experts on three continents and in six countries.
  • Published our Newsletter every month including over two dozen feature articles written mainly by our Founding Experts.
  • Held our first ever board retreat in January which led to a focus on educating faith networks of tech workers and other faith leaders on particular faith traditions can strengthen development and consideration of personal ethics and practice around AI-powered technologies.
  • Developed the beginning of a digital curriculum on faith considerations around AI and tried out the first class with a local congregation with more to come.
  • Established further informal connections beyond our formal partner institutions in the Northwest to include leaders of organizations like the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, the Homo Responsis Network, and Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
  • Organized a ‘listening exercise’ for Christianity Today with Silicon Valley tech workers and pastors to help identify key issues for reporting.  This may lead to an issue of Christianity Today dedicated to AI ethics and faith issues.  We are looking for similar interactions with flagship publications of other faith traditions.
  • Proposed, staffed, and are presently preparing a five-panel ethics track for the upcoming second annual Faith@Work ERG Conference organized by RFBF and Catholic University’s Business School on February 10. This conference will allow us to test market a number of our ideas for engagement with tech workers and faith leaders, including a workshop on the process of moving from faith belief to applicable AI ethics, and another on potential engagement between faith ERGs and corporate ethics officers.

We believe some of the innovative ways of connecting required by COVID will continue to improve and facilitate our continued virtual model of leveraging the skills and expertise of our experts and pursuing a network-of-networks approach for engaging the secular ethics discussion around AI.

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