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Using Science Fiction to Teach Computer Ethics

Judy Goldsmith, professor in the Department of Computer Science, regularly teaches CS585: “Science Fiction and Computer Ethics.” This blend of two seemingly unrelated topics uses short stories in the science fiction genre to help students understand formal ethical theories such as utilitarianism and virtue ethics.

Goldsmith recently co-authored an article, "How to Teach Computer Ethics through Science Fiction," which discusses the rationale behind the course. The article is on the Communications of the ACM website. You can read it and also watch an excellent video featuring Goldsmith’s take on the class here