Teaching ethics in computer science the right way with Georgia Techs Charles Isbell

The new fall semester is upon us, and at elite private colleges and universities, it’s hard to find a trendier major than Computer Science. It’s also becoming more common for such institutions to prioritize integrating ethics into their CS studies, so students don’t just learn about how to build software, but whether or not they should build it in the first place. Of course, this begs questions about how much the ethics lessons such prestigious schools are teaching are actually making a positive impression on students. But at a time when demand for qualified computer scientists is skyrocketing around the world and far exceeds supply, another kind of question might be even more important: Can computer science be transformed from …

What Sci-Fi Can Teach Computer Science About Ethics

This story is part of a series on how we learn—from augmented reality to music-training devices. The protagonist of Rebecca Roanhorse’s short story “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM” is a bit of a sad sack. A guide for a VR tourism company in Sedona, Arizona, he leads “vision quests” in a digital guise taken straight from Little Big Man. He’s Native American in our corporal realm as well, just not the sort tourists wish to commune with, he argues—until one does, stealing his job and his life story. Heartbreaking yet ambiguous, the story won a bunch of top sci-fi honors, including a Nebula and a Hugo. For the students in Emanuelle Burton’s ethics class, the story is tricky to …

The Best Kids Podcasts for Long Summer Drives

Nothing says summer vacation quite like that small voice coming from the backseat: "Are we there yet?" As every parent knows, it starts out as a question, but quickly turns into a demand. While there are limits to how long any child can stand riding in car seat, those limits can be extended with some good entertainment. My family spent two years living in an RV and traveling the country, so my children have put in some serious miles, most of them with surprisingly few complaints. And no, we didn't just turn on the movies and drive. My wife and I wanted the kids to see the land we were driving through, so we skipped the screen and instead turned …