Fostering ethical thinking in computing | MIT News

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Traditional computer scientists and engineers are trained to develop solutions for specific needs, but aren’t always trained to consider their broader implications. Each new technology generation, and particularly the rise of artificial intelligence, leads to new kinds of systems, new ways of creating tools, and new forms of data, for which norms, rules, and laws frequently have yet to catch up. The kinds of impact that such innovations have in the world has often not been apparent until many years later. As part of the efforts in Social and Ethical Responsibilities of Computing (SERC) within the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, a new case studies series examines social, ethical, and policy challenges of present-day efforts in computing with the aim of facilitating the development of responsible “habits of mind and action”...

Quantum Computing Scientists Call for Ethical Guidelines

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A group of quantum computing experts, including scientists and company executives, want to raise ethical concerns about the technology’s potential to create new materials for war and accelerate human DNA manipulation.Six experts are featured in a 13-minute video titled “Quantum Ethics: A Call to Action,” which goes live Monday on YouTube and the Quantum Daily, a free online source for quantum computing news. The goal of the video, which features a former quantum chief at Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is to kick off conversations with other quantum computing industry leaders about the ethical implications of the technology. “Whenever we have a new computing power, there is potential for benefit of humanity, [but] you can imagine ways that it would also hurt people,” said John Martinis, professor of...