David Brancaccio, host of American Public Media’s “Marketplace Morning Report” and a former resident of Waterville, will be the featured speaker at the University of New England’s Paul D. Merrill Business Ethics Lecture.

The lecture, scheduled for March 23 at 4 p.m. in the Eleanor DeWolfe Ludcke Auditorium on UNE’s Portland Campus, is free and open to the public.

Brancaccio’s 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, according to a release from the university. He is expected to 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,” Brancaccio said in the release. “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.”

The Paul D. Merrill Business Ethics Lecture Series honors the legacy of ethical decision-making by Maine business and civic leader P.D. Merrill, operator of Merrill’s Marine Terminal, Merrill Transport Co. 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.

Brancaccio grew up in Waterville. As host of “Marketplace Morning Report,” his reporting focuses on the future of the economy, financial and labor markets, technology, the environment and social enterprises.

For more information on the lecture, call 602-2592 or visit: www.une.edu/lectures/merrilllecture

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