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Panelists sit before audience at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Center website A man types on a computer at the REALity of AI event

The UCF Center for Ethics (C4E) connects ethics expertise within the UCF College of Arts and Humanities to the broader campus community through interdisciplinary research and programming. This year, center leadership continued to expand the center’s reach and impact through partnerships across campus. 

C4E partnered with UCF Celebrates the Arts, through which Kuebler and Beever developed and led a public event on the ethics of AI and art. A keynote address by UCF alum and current Google Brain researcher Ruben Villegas framed the state of AI-driven image creation. UCF researchers, including UCF Texts and Technology graduate student Keidra Navaroli, Philosophy Pegasus Professor Stephen Fiore and SVAD lecturer Angela Hernandez-Carlson, in a panel moderated by C4E Director and Associate Professor of Philosophy Jonathan Beever, delved into the ethical implications in this space. Installations by graduate student researchers and faculty members allowed participants to gain hands-on, tangible experiences to think through these issues in real time. This event brought the UCF and Orlando communities together to talk about this emerging area of ethical interest. Through C4E programming, including our annual public lecture series Ethically Speaking and our monthly discussion group, named the Be Better Club by one of our graduate student participants, the center cultivates ethics engagement across campus. 

Alongside community engagement and education, the center continues as an institutional leader in ethics research, supporting grant-writing and project development.

Alongside community engagement and education, the center continues as an institutional leader in ethics research, supporting grant-writing and project development. Center leaders Jonathan Beever and Stephen Kuebler are actively engaged in over five million dollars of federally funded ethics-related research. Notably, ongoing efforts include an institutional transformation award from the National Science Foundation to examine ethics and disciplinary enculturation (Jonathan Beever, PI), and leading ethics on a new infrastructure-building project to accelerate extended reality research (Greg Welch, PI). Beever and Kuebler also continue to develop additional research papers and projects involving student collaborators, including a longitudinal study of UCF graduate student perceptions of ethics across disciplines. The center welcomes the opportunity to support or collaborate on students’ or faculty colleagues’ research interests in ethics.  

C4E’s internships support undergraduate students interested in ethics. Last year, our intern Haley Wright (UCF Writing and Rhetoric) contributed to developing C4E’s communication and marketing strategies. This year, philosophy majors Grace Guedouar and Lilah Rawlings joined as interns, tasked with building visibility for our colleagues with ethics expertise. Guedouar led this work, conducting interviews with faculty experts to develop podcast-style profiles of our colleagues across campus. Look for those videos, coming early this fall! 

This year, we worked not only with colleagues in the UCF College of Arts and Humanities, but with Pathways to Success, SURF, HUT, OUR, College of Science and the Office of Research. We look forward to fostering new connections and ongoing relationships with ethics-related research, education and training across campus this upcoming year!

— Jonathan Beever, director