Top universities offer new course on technology ethics

The medical profession has an ethic: First, do no harm. Silicon Valley has an ethos: Build it first and ask for forgiveness later. Now, in the wake of fake news and other troubles at tech companies, universities that helped produce some of Silicon Valley’s top technologists are hustling to bring a more ethical approach to computer science, writes Natasha Singer for The New York Times.

This semester, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are jointly offering a new course on the ethics and regulation of artificial intelligence. The University of Texas at Austin just introduced a course titled “Ethical Foundations of Computer Science” – with the idea of eventually requiring it for all computer science majors. And at Stanford University, the academic heart of the industry, three professors and a research fellow are developing a computer science ethics course for next year. They hope several hundred students will enrol.

The idea is to train the next generation of technologists and policy-makers to consider the ramifications of innovations – like autonomous weapons or self-driving cars – before those products go on sale.
Full report on The New York Times site