top of page

Dr. Aaron McKain, M.S.L.

Technology and post-digital America

is making everyone sick (somehow).

On the upside, now we all have that in common. 

So let's use science, stop shaming (male) mental illness, and amplify the voices of folks too beat up to defend themselves.

NEWS AND UPDATES:
MAY 2024

#NeighborsNotNumbers

AI ethics and legal solutions for 
teachers, lawyers, programmers,
policymakers, citizens, and advocates.

Simple.  Proven.  Bi-partisan.  

Because if humanity is going to survive, we need to start treating people like
 


Dr. McKain's consulting practice is now
partnered with Trusted AI -- led by Pamela Gupta  (Top 5 AI Ethics) --  and his IP is already powering the bi-partisan and multi-faith
Institute for Digital Humanity.

AI Ethics is the greatest challenge and opportunity you are facing.  Which AI ethicists are you going to trust?
 

NEWS AND UPDATES:

Dr. McKain's consulting practice is now
partnered with Trusted AI -- led by Pamela Gupta  (Top 5 AI) --  and his IP is already powering the bi-partisan and multi-faith
Institute for Digital Humanity.

AI Ethics is the greatest challenge and opportunity you are facing.  Which AI ethicists are you going to trust?

 

AI ETHICS: PRESS & VICTORIES

THANK YOU TO MY PARTNERS,
CLIENTS, AND STUDENTS

ACLU MINNESOTA
  ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE 
LITTLE EARTH NATIVE HUD COMMUNITY 
CODED BIAS (NETFLIX)   
BYTES MEDIA

TAKE ACTION MINNESOTA
 MN LEGAL RIGHTS CENTER
CIVIC NEBRASKA 
 MN EQUAL JUSTICE RESEARCH CENTER
 MN DEPT. OF HEALTH

SAFETY NOT SURVEILLANCE
 GUNS DOWN, LOVE UP
 PROTECT MN

SECOND CHANCE COALITION 
 URBAN EDUCATORS
RECLAIM THE BLOCK
ACLU NEBRASKA 

EDUCATION AND TRAININGS
NORTH CENTRAL UNIVERSITY
INDIANA UNIVERSITY: OSTROM WORKING GROUP 

 HAMLINE UNIVERSITY  

CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY
 UNIV OF WISCONSIN: LA CROSSE

 ST. PAUL PUBLIC SCHOOLS

IOWA BAR ASSOCIATION

 NEBRASKA BAR ASSOCIATION 
DIGITAL ARCHIVE OF LITERACY NARRATIVES
 NORTH SUBURBAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS 
NORTHEAST SCULPTURE GALLERY
 

MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
 STEVE FLETCHER

ABDI WARSAME 

LATRISHA VETAW

PHILIPE CUNNINGHAM 
 

SAINT PAUL CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

MITRA JILALI 

NELSIE YANG 

RICHFIELD, MINNESOTA CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
SIMON TRAUTMANN

MINNESOTA STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES & SENATORS

 PEGGY SCOTT 

  SCOTT LUCERO 

DR. STEVE JENSEN 

JEREMY MUNSON 
 

  • Catalyzes civic engagement and curate under-served community voices by translating complex issues into easy-to-understand:
     

    • Local, national, and international art exhibitions and installations;

    • Academic research and publications;

    • Educational materials for attorneys, teachers; citizens, and advocates.

      Our own body of work is motivated by the same goals that guide our exhibitions of other artists' work.  We want to use aesthetic experiences as a means of engaging the general public with digital and biomedical harms that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye or too bogged down in esoteric jargon.

  • Ask a question

    Change the text to include your own content. Adjust the font, size or scale to customize the style.

MEDIA APPEARANCES & SPEAKING GIGS

I SPENT 20 YEARS TALKING ABOUT AI
I can explain it to anyone

I DIDN'T ASK TO HAVE A GENETIC CONDITION, PTSD, AND A BULLET
ALMOST TAKE ME OUT IN 2021

but neither did anyone else

And since I'm a middle-aged white guy with fancy titles,

pr skills, and no kids, I'm trying to give back

by talking about the three things 

I hate talking about more than anything.

 

I'm a little picky on clients for this topic.  And you have to let me be funny (and swear) or I -- literally/medically -- can't do it.

But if you have an audience that needs to hear about resilience and compassion and why you owe it to your loved ones

to seek mental health treatment, then I'm happy to help.

I SPENT 20 YEARS TALKING ABOUT AI
I can explain it to anyone

And the fun for me is using what your audience 
already knows -- pop culture, sports, your industry, even the Bible if that's your thing -- to make them 
smart as hell about AI.  Fast.

 

I'm lots of things.  Boring isn't one of them.
In my next life, I'll be a game show host.

Sure I have a PhD and a Master's in Law, but I ain't a snob. 
AI ethics is for everyone and I'm tired of folks getting rich making it confusing. 

So whether your team needs a crash course, easy policy guidelines,  
or a gameplan to leverage AI ethics to win the 21st century, I'm your guy. 

And the fun for me is using what your audience  already knows
-- pop culture, sports, your industry, even the Bible if that's your thing --
to make them smart as hell about AI.  Fast.

 

THE SCIENCE IS CLEAR
technology is making us weird and sick

It's all of it: Cell phones, social media, the post-fact society
(did we really live through a pandemic and an info-demic?)

online self-diagnosis, rampant narcissism, cyberbullying,
and on and on.

 

But I'm a ph.d. and I stick to the science.  Which makes some people happy and other people very not happy. 
But WTF can I do: It's science.  And sometimes it's the law.

I'll talk to anyone about this.  But I prefer schools, legislators, lawyers, or community organizations.  It's a bit much

for a company retreat.  Unless you're a
tech company trying to fix it.

I SPENT 20 YEARS TALKING ABOUT AI
I can explain it to anyone

And the fun for me is using what your audience 
already knows -- pop culture, sports, your industry, even the Bible if that's your thing -- to make them 
smart as hell about AI.  Fast.

 

I'm lots of things.  Boring isn't one of them.
In my next life, I'll be a game show host.

RESEARCH & CONSULTING

Award-winning AI ethics solutions.

And solutions for AI ethics solutions.

Tech companies, schools, and politicians don't know how to fix it in time. 

But we do.

  • "Using the Lens of Narrative Theory

    to Rethink Digital Ethics"
    International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference. 
    Proceedings.  (Forthcoming)
    With Marci Exted and Thomas Freeman

    Winner: 
    Primeaux Award for Best  Paper
    (First Runner-Up)

    Principles of Digital Law and Ethics
    CPI TechREG Chronicle.
     Special Issue on Machine Learning. 

    Feb 2023
    w/ Thomas Freeman, Samson Hall

    "A Primer on Digital
    and Data Science Ethics.

    Nebraska Lawyer. 

    Sept/Oct 2022
    w/ Thomas Freeman, Samson Hall

    “Criminal Conviction By Algorithms  Are Ruining Innocent Lives.” 

     Omaha World-Herald.  
    August 29, 2021
    w/ Thomas Freeman
    and Elizabeth Otto.   

     

    “The Legal Implications of Algorithmic Decision-Making.” 
    Nebraska Lawyer.  May/June 2020

    w/ Thomas Freeman
    and Samson Hall.


    As Technology Evolves, So Will the Law, and So Must Attorneys,
    Nebraska Lawyer. July/August 2019
    w/ Thomas Freeman 

     

    “I Want to Party With You Cowboy: Stephen Colbert and Campaign

    2016’s Aesthetic Logic of Truthiness.” 
    The Joke is On Us: Political Comedy in (Late) Neoliberal Times. 
    Julie Webber-Collins, Ed.  With Thomas Lawson

    Lexington Press, 2019. 

    Fear and Loathing in the New Media Era: How to Realign Our Rhetorical Judgments
    for the Post-Postmodern, Digital Media Age
    .

    Dissertation. 
    Ohio State University, 2012.  

  • INVITED ACADEMIC PRESENTATIONS & CONFERENCES

    “Using the Lens of Narrative Theory to Rethink Digital Ethics." 

    International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference. 

    With Marci Exted and Thomas Freeman.  
    October 2022

    Winner: Primeaux Best Paper Award. 
    (Runner-Up.)

     

    “Privacy 3.0: Using Narrative Theory to Reframe Health Data Sanctity.”  

    Inaugural Transatlantic Dialogue on Humanity and AI Regulation.

    Hosted by HEC Paris.  Paris, France. 

    May 2022
     

    Reported on in Forbes:  
    “Regulating Global Intelligence: Is Global Consensus Possible"
    September 9, 2022

     

    “Privacy 3.0: Using Narrative Theory to Forgive, Forget, and Re-Program Digital Dignity.” 

    Data, Law, and AI Ethics Research Colloquium.

    With Thomas Freeman. Organizers: Indiana University, Virginia Tech,

    and University of Pennsylvania. 

    Online.  April 2022 

     

    “Triangulating Hate Speech and Free Speech in Algorithmic Environments.” 

    Indiana University.

    Bloomington, IN: April 2022  (Online.)

    “Algorithmic Unreliability: Narrative Theory, Digital Ethics,
    and The Constitutionality of Employment AI.” 

    Midwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business.

    With Thomas Freeman and Marci Exted. 

     Chicago, IL and Online:  March 2022

    “Redefining Digital Literary: Algorithms and You.”

    SXSW EDU.

    With Thomas Freeman, Ayin Morales-Monge, and Shea Sullivan.  March 2022

    Winner of online voting competition to present.

     

    “Privacy 3.0: Forgiveness and Student Data After Mahoney.”

    International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference: DePaul University. 

    With Thomas Freeman, Simon Truatman, and Amanda Aherns. 

    Chicago, IL: October 2021

     

    “Algorithmic Bias: How Cross Functional Networks Can Fight Digitized Discrimination.”

    Heider Business Symposium: Creighton University. 

    With Thomas Freeman, Elizabeth Otto, Ayin Monge, and Julius Hernandez. 

    Omaha, NE.  October 2021

    “Reckoning With Robots; The Constitutional Implications
    of Using Algorithms to Make Human Decisions.”

    Midwest Associate of Legal Studies in Business

    /Midwest Business Administration Association Annual Conference.

    With Thomas Freeman. 

    Chicago, IL: March 2021

     

    “Digital Ethics: What’s Next?”

    OSTROM Workshop.  Indiana University School of Business. 

    With Julius Hernandez and Shea Sullivan. Bloomington, IN: February 2021
     

    “A Taxonomy of Algorithmic Unreliability: Using Facial Recognition to Map Constitutional Issues.”

    Data, Law, and AI Ethics Research Colloquium.

    Indiana University & Virginia Tech University.

    Online (COVID): May 2020
     

    “Racist Robots?  A Visual Primer on Understanding Algorithmic Bias.” 

    Midwest Associate of Legal Studies in Business/
    Midwest Business Administration Association Annual Conference.

    With Thomas Freeman, Ayin Monge-Morales, and Moises Morales. 
    March 2020

    “Rhetoric Versus the Robots: Mapping the Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Algorithmic Discrimination.”

    Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society
    at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

    Bloomington, IN. November 2019


    “Why Digital Rights Is The New Civil Rights Movement.” 

    North Carolina A & T State University.

    Greensboro, NC :May 2018
     

    “What Norm MacDonald and Narrative Theory Can Teach Us

    About Social Media Privacy Big Data Reasoning.”

    Hamline University.

    Saint Paul, MN.  April 2017

    (In conjunction w/ exhibition for World Press Freedom Day.)

  • "What Would Jesus Program?”

    Rhetoric Society of America.

    Portland, OR.  May 2020

    “Racist Robots: A Visual Primer on Understanding Algorithmic Bias.” 

    Midwest Business Administrative Association/
    Midwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business Joint Conference.

    With Tom Freeman and Dan Schneider. Chicago, IL.  March 2020

     

    “Rhetoric Versus the Robots II: The Ethics of Algorithmic Unreliability.” 

    International Society for the Study of Narrative.

    With Weston Cregut and Rebekah Winkel.

    New Orleans, LA.  March 2020

     

    “Privacy 3.0: Using Narrative Theory to Navigate Legal, Corporate,
    and Community Debates on Algorithmic Ethics.”

    Data, Law, and AI Ethics Research Colloquium. Washington and Lee School of Law.

    With Thomas Freeman.  Lexington, VA.  April 2019
     

    “Audience 3.0: A New Rhetorical Ethics

    (and Aesthetics) for a Post-Remix Era.”
    Rhetoric Society of America.

     Philadelphia, PA: May 2012.

    “The Gentle Art of Accepting Enemies: New Media

    and the Rhetorical Aesthetics of Audience Exclusion.”

    The International Society for the Study of Narrative.

    St. Louis, MO: April 2011.

     

    “Playing Out Remix,”
    Conference on College Composition and Communication.
    Louisville, KY: March 2010.
     

    “End the Gaffe (And How Narrative Theory Let’s Us Do It).”

    The International Society for the Study of Narrative.
    Birmingham, UK:  June 2009.

     

    “I’m Not There Anymore: The Return of Identity in the Post-Remix Age.”
    Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition.

    Louisville, KY: October 2008.

     

    “Ethos in a Remediated Age: Context, Character, and Community.”
    Rhetoric Society of America.
    Seattle, WA: May 2008.