CS009: Computers and Human Values
Department of Computer Science, Brown University
Notes, September 6th & 8th -- Roger B. Blumberg

Introduction to the Seminar

Why a First-Year Seminar?

Why a Seminar on "Computers and Human Values"?

Motivations for CS009 (section 1): or, Why this approach to the subject?

With all this in mind, let's have a look at the syllabus.

We'll begin Thursday's class by talking about Ken Miller's address at Convocation, and the ways that science and technology recast our sense of ourselves. We'll have help from a recent issue of RISKS and the IEEE SPECTRUM that, in combination, clearly show how technology can change our ideas of human significance. This will be a perfect introduction to our reading of Moravec's ROBOT.

We'll also spend a good deal of time on Thursday on introductions. In addition to saying something about who you are and where you come from, I'll ask you to answer the following question: If your essay for Brown had needed to be about the most significant difference between the world in 1904 and the world of 2004, what would you have written about?

For Tuesday the 13th:: Read at least the first 5 chapters of Moravec's ROBOT.

Back to the Syllabus

© 2005 Roger B. Blumberg