News Release

The ethical matrix: it's not just smart; it's the smart thing to do

The latest Challenge from NYU Tandon’s NYC Media Lab and Bertelsmann will enhance the responsible use of AI across Media, Communications, Education, and Healthcare.

Business Announcement

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the talk of the town, but far too often expediency has been the driver, not responsible innovation. The NYC Media Lab (NYCML) at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and Bertelsmann launched their 4th challenge this month, this time aimed at mentoring teams with projects that use AI to responsibly advance their fields. 

The 2024 collaboration, The Ethical Matrix Challenge: Forging New AI Frontiers in Media, Communications, Education, and Healthcare, focuses on ethical AI and its power to have a real-world influence. The four selected teams have projects that can responsibly revolutionize the way people interact with content, enhance both services and customer experiences, expand the educational playing field, and create better patient outcomes.

  • TeddyBot is the first AI companion designed to help elders age happily and healthily, reminisce together, reduce loneliness, support well-being routines, and more! The team is comprised of co-founders Katie Joseff (Policy lead for misinformation, media literacy, elections at US/CA TikTok) and Patrick Deegan (developer of 7 humanoid robots, several are award-winning: Time Magazine’s Top 50 inventions of 2008 and 2012).  TeddyBot
  • SciGence AI is developing cutting edge virtual reality labs for Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training. They are helping to revolutionize higher education and training with Virtual Reality powered by AI, creating personalized and immersive learning experiences. The team is comprised of co-founders Mike Brenner (technologist/lawyer) and Vincente Navarro (educator/developer).  Scigence
  • LLMSafe by is building AI auditing software that provides product teams with data on how their systems perform in real-life settings. Think of them as the clinical trials of AI and Large Language Models (LLMs). The team is led by the multi-award-winning Dr. Gemma Galdon-Clavell.
  • Could Be Pretty Connected by Could Be Pretty Cool is an audio-first think tank and creative ecosystem builder. It is an all-in-one platform for creative entrepreneurs, using AI and data analysis to help them network, understand their audience, and connect with other creators. The team is led by Kacie (Willis) Luaders, the podcast creator, producer and host.  Could Be Pretty Cool

These four teams, hailing from New York and Atlanta, are bringing their AI projects with a conscience to join forces with Challenge mentors, speakers, and staff to chart a responsible course for AI's future, where progress and principles coexist. 

The cohort will meet 14 times to discuss development, address challenges, and refine plans as well as their pitches.  Outside speakers will be invited to provide their perspective on artificial intelligence and the teams’ specific projects.  Bertelsmann will arrange one-on-one meetings with executives from Fremantle, BMG Music, and Penguin Random House - all Bertelsmann companies, as well as its other operating companies and divisions. 

The Challenge culminates in a showcase in October 2024, where NYCML and Bertelsmann will host a Demo Day at NYU Tandon @ the Yard for the teams to demonstrate the outcomes of their projects. 

About Bertelsmann

Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company with more than 80,000 employees that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the entertainment group RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato Group, Bertelsmann Marketing Services, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company generated revenues of €20.2 billion in the 2023 financial year (annual report). Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.

Creativity and Entrepreneurship Values Video

2023 AI Summit

Bertelsmann Tech Blog

About NYC Media Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

THE NYC MEDIA LAB at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering is a public facing group that focuses on media, digital culture, and technology. By connecting industry with faculty and students it develops and deploys a wide range of innovation programs, including entrepreneurial and startup challenges, faculty and researcher-led projects, and equitable programming and opportunities. The Lab amplifies media innovation, builds pipelines between companies and academia; while at the same time ensuring that all of these technologies are available to as diverse a community as possible.  The lab’s focus dovetails with Tandon’s Emerging Media area of research excellence and will focus on collaboration across various academic departments at the school.

The Lab is built on collaboration, and partners participate in roundtable events on technology issues; connect with one another and with faculty, students, and other university resources; and direct projects on areas of interest to them. The NYC Media Lab facilitates prototyping projects across a wide range of disciplines and programs. Our curated network plays a key role in the Lab’s events. Current partnerships include ASCAP, Bertelsmann, CHANEL, Consumer Reports, New York City’s Economic Development Corporation and Verizon. 

About New York University Tandon School of Engineering

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering is home to a community of renowned faculty, undergraduate and graduate students united in a mission to understand and create technology that powers cities, enables worldwide communication, fights climate change, and builds healthier, safer, and more equitable real and digital worlds. The school’s culture centers on encouraging rigorous, interdisciplinary collaboration and research; fostering inclusivity, entrepreneurial thinking, and diverse perspectives; and creating innovative and accessible pathways for lifelong learning in STEM. NYU Tandon dates back to 1854, the founding year of both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. Located in the heart of Brooklyn, NYU Tandon is a vital part of New York University and its unparalleled global network. For more information, visit

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