From Self-Driving Cars to Self-Driving Business Ethics

David Brancaccio

Tuesday, March 28 at 2:00 pm

Speaking in Maine takes us next to the University of New England, for a talk with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio, this year’s Paul. D. Merrill Business Ethics lecturer.

The University of New England is pleased to announce that David Brancaccio, host of American Public Media’s “Marketplace Morning Report,” will be the speaker at the university’s tenth annual Paul D. Merrill Business Ethics Lecture, to be held on Thursday, March 23 at 4 p.m. in the Eleanor DeWolfe Ludcke Auditorium on UNE’s Portland Campus.

The lecture, titled “From Self-Driving Cars to Self-Driving Business Ethics,” will explore the implications for human decisions when ethical rules are woven into artificial intelligence and other new technology. Brancaccio will discuss the current ethics environment and how building ethical decision-making into advanced machines could spark new approaches to ethics in business and beyond.

“Given current debates about conflicts of interest in Washington, you might think we are not living in a golden age for ethics,” said Brancaccio. “Yet right now there is a flourishing of ethics as it applies to machines, from self-driving cars to medical equipment and robots that must be taught to make ethical decisions. I believe that thinking about ethical behavior in machines can also raise standards for human ethics, in business and beyond.”

“Marketplace Morning Report” has the largest audience of any business program in America. As the host, Brancaccio’s reporting focuses on the future of the economy, financial and labor markets, technology, the environment and social enterprises.

Brancaccio, who grew up in central Maine, served as London bureau chief for “Marketplace” and reported from London to the radio service of the Christian Science Monitor. He hosted “Marketplace’s” evening program from 1993 to 2003. From 2001 to 2003, he anchored the statewide public television news program “California Connected” and later co-anchored the PBS television news magazine program “NOW” with journalist Bill Moyers before taking over as the program’s solo anchor in 2005. His feature-length documentary film, Fixing the Future, appeared in theaters nationwide in 2012. Among his awards for broadcast journalism are the Peabody, the DuPont-Columbia, the Cronkite and the Emmy. He also hosts the Esquire Classic podcast with Esquire magazine. His book Squandering Aimlessly: My Adventures in the American Marketplace was published by Simon & Schuster in 2001. Brancaccio holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in journalism from Stanford University.

The Paul D. Merrill Business Ethics Lecture Series honors the legacy of ethical decision making of Maine business and civic leader P.D. Merrill, operator of Merrill’s Marine Terminal, Merrill Transport Company and other second generation family businesses. The lecture series was created to inspire business and community leaders to think about topics relating to ethics and to integrate a values-based way of thinking into their work and everyday lives.