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Solving The Tech Industry's Ethics Problem Could Start In The Classroom

By NPR

June 6, 2019

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Ethics is something the world's largest tech companies are being forced to reckon with. Facebook has been criticized for failing to quickly remove toxic content, including the livestream of the New Zealand mosque shooting. YouTube had to disable comments on videos of minors after pedophiles flocked to its platform.

Some companies have hired ethicists to help them spot some of these issues. But philosophy professor Abby Everett Jaques of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that's not enough. It's crucial for future engineers and computer scientists to understand the pitfalls of tech, she says. So she created a class at MIT called Ethics of Technology.

As artificial intelligence continues to creep into our lives, Jaques worries about privacy. She's especially concerned about facial recognition "tracking us continuously and pervasively."

 

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