Technically Right

Technically Right advances ethical tech policy and innovation through interdisciplinary research, coursework for undergraduates and graduate students, and convenings of scholars and practitioners.

Advancing Ethical Tech Policy and Innovation

Emerging technologies – AI, algorithmic decision making, predictive analytics, cybersurveillance, and cyberwar – are forcing a re-evaluation of the relationship between the citizen, the state, corporations and technology itself. Technically Right is committed to advancing public understanding and innovative policy solutions to the ethical challenges posed by new technology. As a consortium of faculty, students and industry practitioners, Technically Right is guiding international debate and training a new generation of ethical tech leaders.

Technically Right - advancing ethical tech policy and innovation


ETHICS 390S.02: Data & Democracy explored how to address the challenges posed by foreign interference in U.S. elections, how policy prescription and corporate reform can be shaped by the emerging fields of cyber and data ethics, and examined original source material to better understand the nature of foreign interference in elections. It also included a discussion of interdisciplinary work in multiple fields: data and information science, ethics, privacy law, cybersecurity, national security, state and local governments, corporate governance, voting rights, communications law, internet governance, civil rights, international relations, and political theory.


Tech Talks

A series of bi-monthly, lunchtime talks given by industry, policy, and academic leaders around the intersection of emerging technology and ethics.  Lunch provided.

TechTalk Speakers have included:

  • Laura Berger, Head of Privacy for the Americas at Linkedin
  • Christopher Daniels, former Head of WhatsApp and VP of Business Development at Facebook
  • Katherine Zhou, Founder of “Design Ethically” and Product Designer at IBM Design
  • Julie Cohen, Professor of Law and Technology at Georgetown University Law Center
  • Will Mackie, Senior Trial Attorney, National Security Division, US. Department of Justice


The Kenan Institute for Ethics hosts an annual, multi-day conference each spring around the Ethics of Emerging Technology.  The 2019 Conference, Tech Ethics and Governance, featured keynotes, panel discussions, and presentations centered around the ethical considerations that attach to the increasing reach of emerging tech, and the regulatory and tech governance models necessary to protect an open democratic society.  For fall 2019, Kenan sponsored a Dinner Roundtable on the topic of Tech Ethics/Corporate Ethics.


Student Competitions

Open to all Duke Graduate and Undergraduates, students are challenged to develop regulatory or policy ideas to address the ethics of emerging tech and promote societal well-being, civil rights and liberties, and human rights. Entries are evaluated on the following criteria: (1) Identifying an Emerging Tech Challenge; (2) Considering the Ethical, Social and Practical Factors in Designing a Policy Solution; (3) Recognizing Implementation or Other Barriers; and (4) Clarity and Quality of Writing and Presentation.
More Information: Spring 2020 Student Ethical Tech Competition


Tech Ethics|Corporate Ethics Dinner Roundtable_Flyer

Read about this Roundtable here


Learn more about this TechTalk here

TechTalk - Chris Daniels_Chris Daniels

Learn more about this TechTalk here

Kat Zhou

Read about this TechTalk here

TechTalk - Julie Cohen_flyer

Learn more about this TechTalk here

TechTalk - _Will Mackie

Learn more about this TechTalk here


Read about the new Data and Democracy class here


Read about the success of the inaugural “Tech Ethics and Governance” conference here

TechRightMerrittBaerTalk Calendar

Read about Merritt Baer’s (Principal Security Architect at Amazon Web Services) tech talk here

TechRight (Final)-01

Read about visiting Professor in Ethics Margaret Hu’s talk on Algorithmic Jim Crow here