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UTSG: Business-as-Trust: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Era of AI

August 7 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The new Artificial Intelligence-powered social technology economy has disrupted local and global markets with bewildering speed. From hoteling to online dating to urban transportation, GPS-enabled location-based apps like Uber, Facebook, Amazon, and Airbnb have broken down conventional axes of economic regulation, social interaction, and commercial power. Why and how must we reimagine the normative and practical foundations of corporate social responsibility and business ethics? Current approaches such as the stockholder and stakeholder theory of corporate social responsibility are vague, abstract, indeterminate, and have little relevance to the modern economy. To move past this impasse, this lecture, which is based on a forthcoming book entitled The New Business Ethics (Routledge, 2019), argues we must reimagine corporate social responsibility in five critical ways: as a practical process of decision-making and accountability that exists to foster and maintain trust in enterprise; as a dynamic and process-relational system of interconnected institutions and agents; as a discourse ethics concerned with articulating a new universal pragmatics; as an actor-centric model of market-state relations; and as a new social constitution of the digital economy grounded in the principles of responsibility, transparency, and accountability.

Michael Motala is an Ethics of Artificial Intelligence Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics, and a PhD student studying political science. Michael’s research interests lie at the intersection of law, economics, political science, and pragmatist moral philosophy. He holds degrees from Columbia University, Osgoode Hall Law School, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Toronto’s Trinity College.


August 7
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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Centre for Ethics
15 Devonshire Pl
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1H8 Canada
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