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  • Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making

    Powerful new technologies are changing the world, with unprecedented possibilities for benefit and harm. The Neely Center’s mission is to help leaders make responsible decisions about the design, use, and governance of these emerging technologies. We accomplish this by advancing the research, education, and interdisciplinary conversations necessary for developing and sharing “Technological Intelligence” (TQ). TQ is the capacity to understand and explain how technology works and how to use it to enhance productivity and well-being.

Founding

The Center was founded in 2015 thanks to a generous endowment provided by USC Trustee Jerry Neely and his wife Nancy. The Center aims to solve the most difficult, but most important, challenge of our time: how to align emerging technologies – from simple algorithms to artificial general intelligence – with ethical, human-centered values.

Focus Areas

To facilitate long-term human flourishing, we must align emerging technologies – ranging from simple algorithms to artificial general intelligence – with ethical, human-centered values. We believe this alignment of ethics and tech represents the most difficult as well as most important challenge of our time. We have chosen to focus on three AI-powered innovations that are transforming business and society: social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat), algorithmic management (e.g., HR algorithms, autonomous agents, gig economy platforms), and the emerging Metaverse (e.g., environments shaped by virtual reality and augmented reality).

Activities

​​To better understand and improve each of these technologies, we focus on the following strategic activities: 1) research – advancing scientific understanding about how people use and are changed by new technologies; 2) education – developing new methods and teaching modules for educating future entrepreneurs and leaders so they can bring a more advanced conversation about ethics into the technology ecosystem; and 3) events – organizing events and convening key stakeholders to spread ideas and innovations related to ethics and technology.