Wesleyan Competes in Ethics Bowl Competition

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Eighteen teams from NCICU campuses participated in the competition this year. The 2024 theme was, “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.” Students had to consider several complicated cases involving both artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, then make their arguments about their position on the case.

Final scores were tallied, semi-finalists were announced, and the two matches set: Queens University and High Point University were paired, as were St. Augustine’s University and Montreat College. Queens and Montreat met in the finals, where Queens University prevailed.

North Carolina Wesleyan lost close matches to Pfeiffer, Mars Hill, High Point, and Montreat. The Battling Bishops ethics team included Landon Duff, Fabio Felli, Amanda Modlin, Matthew Tiller, Noah Larkin, and Clarence Alex Sanderford who where led by Professors Jason Buel and Shane Thompson.

“We are so proud of our excellent Ethics Bowl Team as well as their coaches, Dr. Buel and Dr. Thompson.  These young people have taken the time and initiative to generate a considerable body of research on one of the pressing ethical dilemmas of our times.  Although we think they probably deserved to win more matches than they did, we know they represented us well and demonstrated the power of a North Carolina Wesleyan education in their presentations”, stated Provost Dr. Joe Lane.

“This year’s teams were exceptional,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was clear they had done extensive research on the complex topics and developed well-organized, cohesive arguments to present to the judges. I was very impressed with all the teams.”

This was NCICU’s 13th Ethics Bowl. Williams believes it provides unique, important opportunities for the students. “By participating in the Ethics Bowl, students learn research and presentation skills that will serve them well in their careers,” Williams said.

But the most valuable opportunity, she noted, may have been interacting with the more than 70 professionals who volunteered their time as judges or moderators and who represent many networking opportunities and careers, from law, architecture, engineering and cybersecurity to banking, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Clark Dudek, a Triangle entrepreneur and AI expert, was keynote speaker at the dinner on Friday night at the North Carolina Museum of History. He discussed how society has adapted to emerging technologies. “AI is new and may be scary,” he said. “But we are working on how to connect with this new tool and learn how it can complement the rest of our tools.”

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