Title: From Ethical Challenges of Intelligent Systems to Embedding Ethics in Computer Science
Speaker: Barbara J. Grosz, Higgins Research Professor, Natural Sciences, Harvard University
Computing technologies have become pervasive in daily life, sometimes bringing unintended but harmful consequences. For students to learn to think not only about what technology they could create, but also whether they should create that technology and to recognize the ethical considerations that should constrain their design, computer science curricula must expand to include ethical reasoning about the societal value and impact of these technologies. This talk will describe Harvard's Embedded EthiCS initiative, a novel approach to integrating ethics into computer science education that incorporates ethical reasoning throughout courses in the standard computer science curriculum. It changes existing courses rather than requiring wholly new courses. The talk will begin with a short description of my experiences teaching the course "Intelligent Systems: Design and Ethical Challenges" that inspired the design of Embedded EthiCS. It will then describe the goals behind the design, the way the program works, lessons learned and challenges to sustainable implementations of such a program across different types of academic institutions.
Barbara Grosz is Higgins Research Professor of Natural Sciences in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University and a member of the External Faculty of Santa Fe Institute. She has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through her pioneering research in natural language processing and in theories of multi-agent collaboration and their application to human-computer interaction. Her current research explores ways to use models developed in this research to improve health care coordination and science education. She co-founded Harvard's Embedded Ethics program, which integrates teaching of ethical reasoning into core computer science courses. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Philosophical Society, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a corresponding fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She received the 2009 ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award, the 2015 IJCAI Award for Research Excellence, and the 2017 Association for Computational Linguistics Lifetime Achievement Award. She was founding dean of science and then dean of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and she is known for her role in the establishment and leadership of interdisciplinary institutions and for her contributions to the advancement of women in science. Professor Grosz serves on the boards of several scientific, scholarly and academic institutions.