Elevating Business Ethics with AI: Insights from Cristiana Falcone

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences hosted the inaugural Business Ethics Summit 2023 on June 9th at Casina Pio IV, marking the beginning of a significant international forum involving key stakeholders from Italy and around the world.

The event, organized by Core Corporate Relations in collaboration with LUMSA Human Academy – Luigia Tincani Foundation, provided a unique opportunity to explore ethics applied to business through the study of best practices and case studies. In an innovative “phygital” format, the gathering welcomed a selected audience of 150 stakeholders, including academics, managers, and specialized journalists in the economic field, while the live streaming was made available on the Financial Times website.

Inspired by the case studies of the Yale School of Management” said Cristiana Falcone, board director of Core and event moderator, “I drew from my experience at the World Economic Forum, and with the technical support of Syrus Industry, we trained OpenAI’s artificial intelligence to design the summit, without excluding human guidance, to be more effective and also more creative.

The summit highlighted four panels: Human Economy, Tech Economy, Impact Economy and Climate Economy. Participants’ contributions explored the connection between ethics and business, emphasizing the possibility for companies to be guided by ethical principles, adopting a holistic approach oriented towards collective well-being, in line with the concept of transitioning “from growth to prosperity.” This approach urges companies to reflect on the management of ethical issues that can influence decision-making processes.

The application of ethical principles in the business sphere” Cristiana Falcone continues in our interview, “is a fundamental tool to transform business activities into a sustainable engine of economic growth“. Throughout the summit, a series of AI-generated “news capsules” were broadcasted, highlighting the global challenges we face and emerging opportunities in the areas of Human Economy, Tech Economy, Impact Economy, and Climate Economy. For instance, regarding the impact of artificial intelligence on markets, it was revealed that the global AI market is projected to reach $1.59 trillion by 2030. “This technology is making significant advancements in natural language processing and computer vision, revolutionizing sectors such as autonomous driving, medical imaging, and scientific research. However, it also raises ethical concerns and requires regulations focused on transparency, accountability, and data protection“, states Cristiana Falcone, noting how “the United States and Europe are considering how to regulate AI use, while China is accelerating investments to enhance social control“.

The need to optimize fiscal policies to effectively combat poverty, the slow transition towards stakeholder capitalism, and the declining attention towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues were among the other topics covered by the AI-generated news capsules. “Even today, it is important to address crucial challenges such as sustainable development, ethics in artificial intelligence, global economic management, and the fight against poverty, while embracing significant emerging opportunities in sustainable economy, technological innovation, social impact, and climate change mitigation. Collective engagement from all stakeholders is crucial to create a fairer, sustainable, and prosperous future for humanity” observes Cristiana Falcone. Drawing on an insightful analysis by philosopher Anthony Howards published in conjunction with the event, Cristiana Falcone argues that “we are experiencing a profound transition, and balancing economic growth and prosperity requires thoughtful choices that consider future generations“.

Including philosophers and ethicists on boards of directors and implementing an impact assessment on individuals, similar to an environmental impact study, would promote a more balanced, compassionate, and people-centered economy. The artificial intelligence engaged for the Business Ethics Summit also simulated the thinking of philosophers such as John Stuart Mill, Aristotle, Immanuel Kant and Confucius, who were called upon to respond to questions posed during their respective roundtable discussions (click here to watch the videos). Additionally, animating an image featuring OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, the artificial intelligence reproduced an audio message emphasizing how an ethical company is also a better company, with high standards of safety, control, transparency, and integrity, which are essential for human progress.

We extend our gratitude to Cristiana Falcone, and below you can find a brief biography of her.

Cristiana Falcone boasts over 20 years of professional experience in strategy development and partnership implementation for business development. She has collaborated with leaders of multinational companies (SONY, Shell, Revlon), engaged with international governmental organizations (ILO, IFAD, FAO, UNDCCP, IADB), and operated in the media world (Radio Televisione Italiana, Gruppo Espresso, Univision, Viacom). In 2004, she directed the Media, Entertainment, Information, and Sports section of the World Economic Forum before becoming Senior Advisor to the Executive Chairman and Founder, entrusted with the responsibility of developing innovative services and products and evaluating geopolitical risks related to emerging technologies. Since 2006, she has been the CEO and member of the Board of Directors of JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation, which promotes global innovative initiatives in the fields of health, education, and poverty reduction to achieve UNSDG goals. She serves on the Boards of Directors of the Paley Center for Media, Internews, the cultural and publishing project Formiche, Tufts University, Summit Institute, and the Guido Carli Foundation.

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