Debate "Housekeeping" (05:26)
John Donvan introduces the panelists and explains the debate format.
Opening Statement For: Noam Cohen (06:13)
Journalist and the author of "The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse," Cohen recalls when Yahoo was hand-curated. Algorithms anticipate what they think we will like based upon past searches. Facebook is rife with ads and track us.
Opening Statement Against: Leslie Berlin (06:26)
Historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University, Berlin argues that it still has the same mixture of idealism, commercialism, and optimism as sixty years ago. A company is working to use AI and big data to try to detect cancer early. Genentech wants to build insulin using recombinant DNA techniques.
Opening Statement For: Dipayan Ghosh (06:20)
Pozen fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School;s Shorenstein Center, Ghosh explains that a soul is a moral compass. Apple builds a data center in China even though it is a surveillance state. Google is considering entering the country with a censored search service.
Opening Statement Against: Joshua McKenty (06:24)
Vice president of the systems advisory group at Pivotal, McKenty explains how Silicon Valley is an ecosystem consisting of government agencies, nonprofits, fortune 1000 companies, and academic institutions. Being soulful means grappling with questions of right and wrong. The region is disproportionally generous, creating philanthropic and social entrepreneurship organizations. Media is more to blame for the problems plaguing technology.
Founding of Silicon Valley (07:06)
Donvan summarizes the opening statements. Cohen believes that commercialism was not part of the region's formulation. Berlin explains that the scope of Silicon Valley's impact has changed. Ghosh rebuts that the technologies now engage in a dialogue with the consumer.
Theological Debate (04:47)
Donvan comments that a person can sin and still have a soul. Cohen explains that if Facebook abuses its trust with people it is supposed to be serving and tampers with elections to achieve a profit, its actions are worse that sinning. Berlin rebuts there is a difference between having a soul and being moral.
Q/A: New Codes for Ethics (03:13)
Ghosh argues that technology has evolved in the way it interfaces with the consumer. As entrepreneurs grow their companies and convince venture capitalists of its product, they surrender their moral compass.
Q/A: Presidential Election (07:14)
Globalization is not unique to Silicon Valley. McKenty argues that because technology has moved so quickly policy makers cannot regulate the changes. Berlin poses that perhaps thinking of Silicon Valley as an idealistic place was a construct created by its founders.
Concluding Statement For: Cohen (02:25)
Cohen describes how Larry Page and Sergey Brin had a soul when it created Google.
Concluding Statement Against: Berlin (02:27)
Berlin rebuts that Page and Brin signed an invention disclosure with Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing before receiving any capital. Two thirds of the people working in Silicon Valley are born outside the United States and come to improve the world.
Concluding Statement For: Ghosh (02:24)
Ghosh explains how one cannot have commercialism and idealism simultaneously. Consider social media companies' business model trying to make their platforms addictive. There are no privacy laws that regulate the Internet.
Concluding Statement Against: McKenty (02:10)
McKenty describes how only people in Silicon Valley believe in the unification of idealism and commercialism. Beautiful things the region does correctly pass by unnoticed, while bad actions make the headlines.
Time to Vote (00:37)
Donvan compliments panelists on their conduct and instructs the audience to vote.
Audience Vote Results (00:59)
Pre-Debate - For: 51% - Against: 33% - Undecided: 16%
Post-Debate - For: 33% - Against: 63% - Undecided: 2%
Credits: Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul: A Debate (00:09)
Credits: Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul: A Debate
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