The interdisciplinary course explores the intersection of computer technology and ethics

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Computer Science Department Chairman Craig Partridge and Associate Professor of Philosophy Moti Gorin were the driving force behind the creation of CSU’s Ethical Computing Systems (CS/PHIL 201) course. First offered to students in the Spring 2020 semester, Ethical Computing Systems aims to cover moral theory and its application to a number of topics relevant to the intersection of computing technology and ethics. Students draw on utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics during the course and, upon completion, are able to understand the ethical complexity of 21st century computing careers.

“The world and its [students] living in the world is steeped in values, whether or not they thought about it in the first place,” says Gorin. By integrating these important ethical theories into the curriculum, Gorin hopes to give students the tools they need to think about their values ​​and obligations in a more structured and systematic way.

Using content like recent newspaper articles, the course seeks to address the immediate relevance of issues such as accidental biases in AI development, safety issues surrounding self-driving cars or social media and their influence on the human psyche. During a typical day, lively discussions and debates take place, often resulting in a wide range of views from faculty and students.

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