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In advance of each session, we will distribute some readings to help you think through that week’s central themes. For those of you who are interested in diving deeper into relevant material, we recommend you look at the reading list for the undergraduate course that will be running in parallel to this one. You will see additional readings and resources on the technical, ethical, and public policy questions our sessions bring to light. (For Algorithmic Decision-Making, see readings 1/11-25; for Data Privacy, 1/28-2/8; for AI, 2/11-2/25; for Platforms, 2/27-3/11.)

NOTE: We will be updating this page week by week as the class goes on.

For January 16

On Wednesday, we will begin our exploration with a wide-ranging opening session that features two formidable guests: Reid Hoffman and Nicole Wong. Given the breadth of experience that Reid and Nicole bring, we will address an array of topics that, together, set the stage for the conversations ahead.

Among the topics we are likely to cover are:

  • Ethical reckoning or “techlash” currently facing the tech sector
  • Geopolitical dimensions of technological progress (especially with respect to China)
  • Our policymakers’ ability to govern a society transformed by technology
  • Potential approaches to what lies ahead (regulation, self-regulation, employee activism, consumer action, etc.)

Instead of pre-readings for this week, we would like you to spend some time reflecting on your own experiences of and interest in the ethical and political issues that the technology industry and our society will confront in the years ahead. Please spend some time filling out this questionnaire and submit your answers by Tuesday at 10pm PST.

For January 23

If you are interested in reading further, we recommend the following books: Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, Algorithms of Oppression, The Black Box Society.

For February 6

For February 20

For March 6

For March 13