Rodrigo Ferreira - Deep Tech Ethics: Integrating Social Justice in Computer Ethics Curricula

Joint ICE-TCS/GSSI virtual seminar

  • 25.9.2020, 16:00 - 17:00


Schedule: 25 September 2020, 16:00 GMT/18:00 Italian time
Virtual link:
Speaker: Rodrigo Ferreira (Technology, Culture, and Society, Rice University, USA)

Title: Deep Tech Ethics: Integrating Social Justice in Computer Ethics Curricula

Abstract: As ethical questions around the development of computer technologies have become an increasing point of public and political concern, computer-science departments in universities around the world have place renewed emphasis on developing computer-ethics curricula. Yet, even as these efforts have focused on exploring multiple theoretical perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches to ethical questions, an understanding of the relation between computer technologies and historical social inequalities remain woefully unexplored. In this presentation, we will describe our efforts at Rice University to bridge this divide through what we refer to as a Deep-Tech-Ethics approach to computer-ethics education. Incorporating elements from philosophy of technology, critical media theory, and science and technology studies, we will describe how we encouraged students in our Ethics and Accountability in Computer Science class to think about ethics, not only in a “shallow” sense, examining abstract principles or values to determine right and wrong, but rather looking at a series of “deeper” questions more closely related to present social-justice issues and relying on a structural understanding of these problems to develop potential socio-technical solutions.

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