Ethical Computer Science
Integrating responsible computing into Allegheny College Computer Science Curriculum
June 4, 2022
We believe that students who are taught to be proactive programmers will know how to avoid technical debt and then create more ethical software. This includes developing efficient and correctly working tools that are well-documented and can be easily used and integrated by other developers. In teaching students how to be proactive programmers we require them to use best practices in documentation, comments, and Git practices. For this purpose and to facilitate our two introductory courses, we developed the Proactive Programmers website, which not only equips students with technical skills in areas such as setting up a robust development environment, using version control and continuous integration, and automatically testing and linting their programs but also invites students to think deeply about and to practice professional skills such as effective communication, time management, and goal setting.
Health and Artificial Intelligence
March 14, 2022
One in five adults living in the United States uses fitness trackers and health-related applications daily. With this continuously growing statistic, arise ethical concerns of big data collection, and how our fitness data can be used. In collaboration with Allegheny College’s Ethics Technical Leaders and exploration of curriculum that teaches ethics, Vigor is an open-source tool that allows students to explore the implications of releasing personal data to health and exercise apps.
Fake News Detection
February 4, 2022
Media outlets and social media platforms run rampant with “fake news,” or information that has not been fact-checked, especially as they become more opinionated and stray away from centrist, fact-based reporting. This is an increasing issue in reporting, as the public receives most of their information in this way and depend on these outlets to be informed. According to BBC, false information can take many forms (satire, clickbait, propaganda, and mistakes), and it can be classified as disinformation or misinformation.
Bias in Automated Face-Recognition
January 4, 2022
Facial recognition software is used in many industries, including but not limited to law enforcement, airports, healthcare facilities, technology manufacturing companies. As facial recognition technologies gain popularity there are some privacy and ethical concerns rising regarding the development and use of these tools. According to a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, commercial facial recognition tools exhibited biases with age, gender and race. This is an important issue because biased facial recognition technology in law enforcement may lead to false accusations and arrests, or in airports it may cause delayed flights.
Privacy, Security and Ethics
May 4, 2021
Databases contain lots of information of a personal nature. This project is centered on being classroom lab assignment that focuses on the ease to hack a database (i.e., maliciously extracting data by a simple means), the necessity of security systems to protect the data, and the ethics involved in the protection from the exploitation of personal information. With the creation of this web server connected to a database, this lab resembles a bank’s website being hacked which brings real life questions to the forefront.
Misinformation and Ethical Concern
February 4, 2021
With the reliance on social media as a source of news and for nearly all information we consume, it has become very easy for misinformation to spread. In fact, misinformation spreads just as easily as correct information and telling the difference between the two is no longer straightforward. The source-checking and fact-checking duties have become the job of the reader rather than the writer, whether the information has already been fact-checked or not, and “fake news” has become the new normal.