AI and Faith Welcomes Seven New Experts to our Community!

We’re excited this month to welcome a tremendous group of new experts to our community.  They are filling key roles for us in areas such as corporate ethics and Faith ERGs, law, psychiatry and neuroscience, and finance.  They also help continue to diversify our spectrum of faith traditions, this month including Judaism, Hindu beliefs, and ecumenical spirituality.

As new additions to our Contributing Fellow/Member Teams – especially essential to our “identifying, connecting, encouraging, and equipping” mission – we welcome a key Microsoft corporate ethicist and creator of large-scale AI ethics training curricula; a leader of the Christian community within Microsoft’s new Faith ERG; and a masters student entering her second year at Harvard Divinity School.

As new Advisors, we welcome a London barrister and Jewish theologian whose new book we plan to review in August; a renowned former product manager for HTC, now a venture capitalist in Taiwan and Silicon Valley;  a noted Christian clinical psychiatrist and author of recent leading books on shame and creativity; and the leader of PayPal Faith ERG “Believe”s Hindu community.

Harris Bor (Advisor, Law, Jewish Theology, and Tech Ethics) is a barrister practicing from Twenty Essex, a barristers’ chambers in London. His law practice covers all areas of international arbitration and commercial and company litigation, with a particular emphasis on corporate, joint venture, and fraud disputes. Harris is also Research Fellow at the London School of Jewish Studies, and a rabbinic scholar with the Montefiore Endowment, London. His 2021 book Staying Human: A Jewish Theology for the Age of Artificial Intelligence (Cascade/Wipf & Stock) applies approaches to oneness and difference found in the thought of philosophers Benedict Spinoza and Martin Heidegger to the challenges of religious belief and practice in the era of AI. He holds a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Dispute Resolution from Queen Mary, University of London, and a PhD in Theology from Cambridge University.

Phil Chen (Advisor for Finance and Comp Sci) is the Founding Partner at Race Capital, a Silicon Valley software venture fund that invested in companies like FTX, Lightning Labs, and Databricks. He is also an advisor and founder of the HTC Exodus, the world’s first open source crypto mobile phone anchoring the next internet with a distributed computing device that empowers the individual to own their private keys. Previously at HTC, Phil was product manager for the launch of the world’s first Android phone in 2009.  From 2015-2018, Phil was an advisor at Horizons Ventures, Li Ka-Shing’s venture fund, leading the deep tech portfolio where he served as a board director for over fifteen companies globally including Improbable, Scopely, Soul Machines, and Sentient. He holds both Bachelor of Arts and Science degrees from the University of California San Diego in Arts, Physics, and Pure Mathematics, and a Master of Divinity in Post-Modern Philosophy from Fuller Seminary. Phil divides his time between Silicon Valley and Taiwan.

Haley Griese (Contributing Member, Editorial Team) studies religion, ethics, and politics as a second-year MTS student at Harvard Divinity School. Her academic interests include pragmatism, decolonial theory, moral philosophy, existentialism, and tech ethics. She explores questions such as: What does it mean to be “us” in the digital age? How might various technologies both facilitate and obstruct democratic strivings? How could pragmatic digital ethics reduce emergent technologies’ potential for harm, while maximizing their capacities to build more equitable futures for all? After completing her Master’s degree, Haley hopes to pursue doctoral work in a related field.

Milind Makwana (AI&F Advisor for AI Product Development and Faith ERGs) is a senior technical program manager at PayPal driving critical initiatives in the Payments space. Milind has been involved in increasingly responsible roles in program management and product development for 20 years, 10 of them at PayPal. Milind is the leader of the Hindu faith community within PayPal’s broader Faith Employee Resource Group – [Believe]. Milind is also the founder of Dharmatoys.com – A website catered towards offering faith based toys, games & apparels. Milind has  authored two kids books, his first book is  “A Day in Life of a Hindu Kid” is highly rated and his second book was recently launched on Kickstarter.  Milind holds a Bachelors Engineering degree in Electronics & Telecommunications and has completed his Advanced Program management course from Stanford.

Brendan Newell (Contributing Fellow, Network Team) has been a Technical Architect at Microsoft for over 20 years, most recently working on Identity and Cloud Security issues with some of Microsoft’s largest Enterprise customers to plan and implement secure Cloud solutions.  Before entering the technology field, Brendan studied to be a Catholic Deacon.  Brendan was involved in Microsoft’s discussions of AI ethics with the Vatican and business and government agencies that became the The Rome Call for AI Ethics, and is presently participating in a Microsoft-sponsored irrigation project applying AI software in Tanzania.

Ben Olsen (Contributing Fellow, Programs and Networking Teams) is a Responsible technology leader and a professional coach informed by an ecumenical spirituality. Today, he works on Trust and Governance Infrastructure for Microsoft, where he also teaches Mindfulness and Compassion to employees. He is co-chair of Responsible AI Learning for the World Economic Forum’s Responsible Use of Technology working group. In 2021, he founded Huminary, a coaching, learning, and advisory company. Ben created Microsoft’s first company-wide training courses for Responsible AI and helped author their first Responsible AI Standard. He also established Responsible Innovation programs at Meta. Throughout his life, he has been practicing and teaching across contemplative traditions, including Evangelicalism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and Buddhism. He has lectured at the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, and Stanford.

Curt Thompson,  M.D. (Advisor – Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Christian Theology) is a board-certified psychiatrist and the founder of Being Known, an organization that develops resources for hope and healing at the intersection of neuroscience and Christian spiritual formation. He is the author of The Soul of ShameThe Soul of Desire, and Anatomy of the Soul.  Curt weaves together an understanding of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) and a Christian view of what it means to be human to provide insights about how the brain affects and processes relationship and thereby help people discover a fresh perspective and practical applications to foster healthy and vibrant lives.”

We’re so glad to have this diverse group of new Advisors and Contributing Fellows/Members on board as we continue to expand our expert community in areas of particular need.  This summer we are especially seeking Contributing Members interested in helping us achieve critical mass for each of our key Teams (Editorial, Programs, Communications and Networking).  Our ask here is for about 5-6 hours a month of volunteer time – a great opportunity to make connections with other diverse Team members as well as leading figures committed to faith perspectives on AI ethics.  Please contact Admin@aiandfaith.org  to learn more about this opportunity to serve and grow.  We currently have 18 Contributing Fellows and Members and are seeking approximately a dozen more persons help us to build connections and promote the work of our whole community of Research Fellows (13), Advisors (66), and our Network of Networks.

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