MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
"These commentaries on ethics, computing, and AI, representing faculty from all five MIT schools, implore us to be collaborative, foresighted, and courageous as we shape a new college — and to proceed with judicious humility. Rightly so. We are embarking on an endeavor that will influence nearly every aspect of the human future."
— Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
ETHICS, COMPUTING, AND AI | PERSPECTIVES FROM MIT
To support ongoing planning for the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, we invited faculty from all five MIT schools to offer perspectives on the societal and ethical implications of emerging technologies. This series presents the resulting commentaries: 20 practical, inspiring, concerned, and clear-eyed views from an optimistic community deeply engaged with issues that are among the most consequential of our time.
Explore the Commentaries
Foreword: Ethics, Computing, and AI | Melissa Nobles, Political Science
The Tools of Moral Philosophy | Caspar Hare and Kieran Setiya, Philosophy, Ethics
Computing is Deeply Human | Stefan Helmreich and Heather Paxson, Anthropology
When Programs Become Unpredictable | John Guttag, Computer Science, Engineering
Safeguarding Our Humanity in the Age of AI | Bernhardt Trout, Chemical Engineering
The Common Ground of Stories | Mary Fuller, Literature
Who's Calling the Shots with AI? | Leigh Hafrey, Behavioral and Policy Science
In Praise of Wetware | Caroline A. Jones, Art History
Blind Spots | David Kaiser, History of Science
Assessing the Impact of AI on Society | Lisa Parks, Comparative Media Studies
Clues & Caution for AI from Biomedicine | Robin Scheffler, History of Science, Technology
The Environment for Ethical Action | T.L. Taylor, Comparative Media Studies, Sociology
Biological Intelligence and AI | Matthew Wilson, Neuroscience
Machine Anxiety | Bernardo Zacka, Political Science
Bilinguals and Blending | Hal Abelson, Computer Science, Engineering
A Dream of Computing | D. Fox Harrell, Digital Media, Artificial Intelligence
A Network of Practitioners | Nick Montfort, Comparative Media Studies, Poetry
How Not to Teach Ethics + Forming a New College | Susan Silbey, Anthropology, Sociology
RESEARCH + INITIATIVES
Q&A: Why cities aren’t working for the working class
MIT Economist David Autor’s latest research shows how economic polarization stems from urban job loss.
Interview on MIT News
ABDUL LATIF JAMEEL POVERTY ACTION LAB
J-PAL launches the Innovation in Government Initiative
J-PAL’s new Innovation in Government Initiative will work with governments to scale evidence-informed innovations to improve the lives of people living in poverty. Starting this Spring, IGI will also host innovation competitions.
Story | Follow J-PAL for updates
ABDUL LATIF JAMEEL POVERTY ACTION LAB
Co-Impact announces funding for Teaching at the Right Level in Africa
Co-Impact, a global philanthropic collaborative, announced a commitment of US$80 million and technical support to five different initiatives. Teaching at the Right Level, led jointly by J-PAL Africa and Pratham, is one of five initiatives to receive funding.
Computational Cultures Initiative launches
Anchored in MIT’s longstanding commitment to the greater public good, the Computational Cultures Initiative will incubate exchanges between cutting-edge technologists and distinguished historians, philosophers, anthropologists, political scientists, and others who study the human implications and impacts of technological change.
Website | Attend forthcoming events
MIT SHASS RESEARCH, CREATIVE WORKS, AND COMMUNITY
IN THE MEDIA + AWARDS
BURCHARD SCHOLARS PROGRAM
36 outstanding MIT students selected as 2019 Burchard Scholars
We are proud to announce the extraordinary sophomores and junior students selected as the 2019 cohort of Burchard Scholars. In this unique and competitive discovery program, MIT students expand their intellectual horizons and leadership skills.
Meet the new Burchard Scholars
Mining a trove of text | PhD student Andrew Halterman
With his innovative method for analyzing language, political science doctoral student Andrew Halterman maps civilian deaths in Syria.
Ivy Li '20 translates Spenser's Faerie Queene into a modern comic
In this project, Li, a literature and physics major, "translates part of Edmund Spenser's 16th century Faerie Queene into the modern medium of comics, making shapely narrative from a part of the poem that used to be considered incoherent and obscure. Ivy also makes sure you get the jokes!"
View a digital book of the Faerie Queene comic
Ivy Li '20; photo by Jon Sachs
"Since childhood, I’ve been passionate about comics because they tell rich stories by blending elements of different media. Requring the skills of a playwright and a cinematographer, the comic book medium sits snugly at the intersection between text and visual art."
THE PERFORMING ARTS | MEET PLAYWRIGHT KEN URBAN
Acclaimed playwright Ken Urban leads MIT’s playwriting program and launched the Playwrights Lab, a ground-breaking collaboration between MIT students and professional theater artists. In this conversation on the power of theater, Urban says, "Understanding others is crucial right now. Of course, understanding is not the same as forgiving or ignoring conflict. But you cannot write convincingly until you care about people who are different from you. That’s what being a playwright has taught me.”
3 Questions Interview
Ken Urban; photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia
HONORS AND AWARDS
KNIGHT SCIENCE JOURNALISM PROGRAM AT MIT
Undark magazine wins 2019 Polk Award for environmental reporting
Photojournalist Larry C. Price and reporters for Undark magazine win for “Breathtaking,” a global portrayal of the lethal impacts of particulate pollution. For the multimedia series, directed by editor-in-chief Tom Zeller, Jr., Undark visited seven locations on five continents. Undark publisher is Deborah Blum, director of KSJ@MIT. Congratulations to everyone on the team for highlighting this global issue so effectively: "Particulate pollution kills millions each year; it doesn't have to be that way."
View the series: Breathtaking | Undark | KSJ@MIT
MUSIC AND THEATER ARTS
Charlotte Brathwaite wins 2019 Creative Capital Award
Forgotten Paradise: Gazette’s Sun is an experiment in creative nonfiction filmmaking, installation, and live performance. It traces the lineage of Director Charlotte Brathwaite’s family history against the backdrop of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
MUSIC AND THEATER ARTS
Ken Urban play nominated for 5 Helen Hayes Awards
Urban's play, "The Remains," was nominated for 5 Helen Hayes Awards for its world premiere in DC, including the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play.
Full list of nominees
STAY IN TOUCH
Subscribe to Said and Done
10 issues a year
In the Media
SHASS on MIT News
Research and Features
MIT Campaign for a Better World
Story | Join Us
Said and Done is published by SHASS Communications
Office of the Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Editor and Designer: Emily Hiestand
Publication Associate: Alison Lanier
Published 21 February 2019