News  |    |  February 22, 2019

Joint CS and Philosophy Initiative, Embedded EthiCS, Triples in Size to 12 Courses – Harvard University

News article by Ruth A. Hailu and Amy L. Jia. Published in The Harvard Crimson.
Embedded EthiCS is a Repository of Open Source Course Modules.


Embedded EthiCS — an interdisciplinary initiative between the Computer Science and Philosophy departments — has expanded to a dozen courses in the Computer Science department this semester and will extend to other disciplines in the near future.

Pioneered by Computer Science Professor Barbara J. Grosz and Philosophy Professor Alison J. Simmons, the initiative pairs Computer Science faculty members with Philosophy graduate students to collaboratively design modules and assignments that address relevant ethical issues within Computer Science curricula. The program has tripled in size since its inception in spring 2017, when four courses were offered.

The idea behind the Embedded EthiCS initiative arose three years ago after students in Grosz’s course, CS 108: “Intelligent Systems: Design and Ethical Challenges,” pushed for an increased emphasis on ethical reasoning within discussions surrounding technology, according to Grosz and Simmons. One student suggested Grosz reach out to Simmons, who also recognized the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to computer science. [ . . . ]