AI

Shannon Vallor

Shannon Vallor is the Regis and Dianne McKenna Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley, a Faculty Scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, and an AI Ethicist in Google’s Visiting Researcher program.

While her teaching addresses the philosophy of science and technology broadly, Vallor’s research focus is the ethics of emerging technologies. Her work investigates how human character is being transformed by rapid advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, new social media, surveillance, and biomedical technologies, and appears in journals such as Ethics and Information Technology, Philosophy and Technology, and Techne, as well as a 2016 book from Oxford University Press: Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting. She is the editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Technology and is currently working on a new book on the subject of artificial intelligence and ethics: The AI Mirror: Rebuilding Our Humanity in an Age of Machine Thinking.

Vallor has a special interest in the integration of ethics with industry and engineering and computer science education and professional practice, and engages in outreach and consulting on this subject with a range of stakeholders inside and outside academia, including government, industry, law, media and public policy professionals and advocates. She has also authored or co-authored numerous free online teaching modules and workshop materials published by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, including An Introduction to Software Engineering Ethics, An Introduction to Data Ethics, An Introduction to Cybersecurity Ethics, and Ethics in Tech Practice.

Recent professional honors include the 2015 World Technology Award in Ethics from the World Technology Network; the Public Intellectual Award from Santa Clara University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and the Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence, Santa Clara University’s highest teaching honor.

Role Summary

Vallor began working with Google Cloud in July 2018 as a consulting AI Ethicist assisting with the implementation of Cloud review processes for our AI Principles. While continuing to support these processes in Cloud, in December 2018 she expanded her work at Google as a Visiting Researcher, joining the new Responsible Innovation team in Global Affairs and serving as one of our Advanced Technology Advisors. She also has worked to develop a series of workshops, presentations, and self-service training modules on tech ethics designed for a variety of audiences at Google.