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Philosophy Professor Partners with CSET, Receives Grant

October 9, 2019 – Philosophy Professor Maggie Little of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and Jason Matheny, founding executive director of the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) at Georgetown, recently won a grant for their collaborative project, “Embedding Ethics for Career Training in the Governance of Artificial Intelligence.”

This grant from the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) will pilot innovative, replicable workshops on artificial intelligence (AI) and ethics for three nationally recognized fellowship programs. Little and Matheny’s goal is to provide training and learning opportunities for those seeking government careers in technology and AI policy in order to instill an educated and actionable commitment to its responsible use.


Little and Matheny received one of 27 grants awarded as part of PIT-UN’s inaugural “Network Challenge,” which aims to support the development of new public interest technology initiatives and institutions in academia, and foster collaboration among the network’s 21 partner institutions, including Georgetown. The network also seeks to grow a new generation of civic-minded technologists and digitally fluent policy leaders.


Public interest technology is a broadly defined and emerging area of study that combines digital innovation and public policy.

As technological advancements in AI rapidly continue, Little’s partnership with Matheny will assist in educating those individuals working with or around AI to ensure their enactment of socially conscientious technology or technology policy.

Georgetown joins other universities across the United States who have created joint degrees, exchange programs and cross-disciplinary initiatives to begin developing a robust pipeline of future technologists and leaders seeking to pursue careers in the growing field.

The workshops developed by Little and Matheny comprise a 35-person cohort.

Its members are drawn from programs with similar apprenticeship structures that provide early or mid-career technologists and technology policy leaders postings within federal government agencies, Congressional offices and congressional committees.

These entities oversee decisions on the deployment and governance of technology, including AI, and are a foundational part of their development.

By drawing on the Ethics Lab’s novel methods for engaging challenging and ethical questions, future policy leaders will be well equipped to develop ethical technological legislation.

-by Shelby Roller (G’19)

Center for Security and Emerging Technology