16 Jan 2017
Hello all, I’m Will Badart, a junior at the University of Notre Dame studying computer science and security. I’m from Seattle, am a proud Knight of Keenan Hall, and my fun fact is that I have a twin sister.
I’m studying computer science because I’m fascinated by technology and how it’s created (and computer science as a field is a great and gainful outlet for that fascination). Once I’d gotten started with computer science as a major, I also realized that I really enjoy programming and solving problems using the tools I’ve learned in the program.
This blog will follow the discussions of Notre Dame’s CSE 40175, Ethical and Professional Issues, a class in which I’m currently enrolled. I’m hoping this class will help me, throughout my career, be mindful of the ethical challenges posed by advancing technology, specifically in computer science. I’m particularly looking forward to our coverage of AI, and a little later, privacy. I think these two categories represent the most significant challenges to modern computer scientists.
AI, for example, is rapidly moving from the realm of science fiction into science fact, and before long we’ll be faced (in a very non-theoretical way) with the question of what it means to be intelligent, or even what it means to be human.
Privacy on the other hand is already an all-too-real issue. There is a power in knowledge (and by extension, a power in data) and with power, government provide security- security for our physical safety, security for our economy, security for our national interests. That’s all well and good, but in the current state of affairs, privacy serves as collateral that security, when it need not (at least not entirely). Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this conflict is the ignorance of policy makers towards security technologies. Perhaps the clearest example of this is the popular and misguided notion that encryption providers could create “back doors” accessible only by friendly actors.
I’m sure the class will cover these issues (among others) at length, so stay posted over the coming weeks for more posts about them.
Image: Lelombrik.net, Liberte et securite