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Interactive Computing Distinguished Lectures Series: Casey Fiesler


Talk Title — Three Lessons Toward Ethical Tech


Hardly a day passes without a new technology ethics scandal in the news — from privacy violations on social media to biased algorithms to controversial data collection practices. In computing practice and research, good intentions sometimes still lead to negative consequences. So what can we do as technologists, researchers, and educators? This talk describes three lessons from my research that inform ethical practices in studying, building, and teaching about technology: (1) remembering the humans present in data, towards ethical research practices; (2) unpacking ethical debt (as a parallel to technical debt) in technology design and research as the precursor to the types of unintended consequences that underly many controversies; and (3) a broader perspective on computing education that puts thoughtful critique of technology in everyone’s hands. 


Casey Fiesler is an Associate Professor of Information Science (and Computer Science by courtesy) at University of Colorado Boulder. She researches and teaches in the areas of technology ethics, internet law and policy, and online communities. Her work on research ethics for data science, ethics education in computing, and broadening participation in computing has been supported by the National Science Foundation, and she is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award. Also a public scholar, she is a frequent commentator and speaker on topics of technology ethics and policy, and her research has been covered everywhere from The New York Times to Teen Vogue (though she’s particularly proud of her TikToks). She is a three-time alum of Georgia Tech, and in addition to her PhD in Human-Centered Computing, she also holds a JD from Vanderbilt Law School.