Today’s world is complex and tech-driven. Emerging technologies offer new solutions but they can also introduce new or deepen existing problems. (The release of ChatGPT in December 2022 presents an important recent case study.) How do we make sure that we develop and implement technologies that not only solve the problems we face in a socially responsible way but also empower individuals and communities?

This course will introduce high school students to the growing field of “public interest technology” and will explore the questions:

  • What is the public interest in a socio-technical world?
  • How do issues of bias and inequality get built into and reinforced by technologies?
  • What can we learn from the history of technology and innovation?
  • What strategies can we use to promote social responsibility in the public sector, private sector, and general public? 
  • What can each of us do to make the world a better place? 

Each day, students will engage in interactive lectures, group discussions, and collaborative activities that ask students to grapple with the complex social and technical issues that public interest technologists must grapple with in their work.