Data c104 / History c184d: Human Contexts and Ethics of Data
Why this course?
Data-driven services and artificial intelligence-powered devices now shape innumerable aspects of our lives. Beneath the surface of these technologies, computational and increasingly autonomous techniques that operate on large, ever-evolving datasets are revolutionizing how people act in and know the world. These new tools, systems, and infrastructures have profound consequences for how we think of ourselves, relate to one another, organize collective life, and envision desirable futures.
This course teaches you to use the tools of applied historical thinking and Science, Technology, and Society (STS) to recognize, analyze, and shape the human contexts and ethics of data. It prepares you to engage as a knowledgeable, skillful, and responsible citizen and professional in the varied arenas of our datafied world. You will learn to address:
How does data science transform how people live and how societies function?
How do cultures and values inform how data-driven tools are developed and deployed?
What assumptions do data-enabled algorithms and tools carry with them?
What projections does AI make on the future?
How can we shape the outcomes we want to see?
If you intend to major in Data Science, the course meets the Human Contexts and Ethics requirement of Berkeley’s Data Science major. It gives you systematic exposure and reflective practice in the human choices and social structures that intrinsically shape your work.
If you don’t intend to major in Data Science, the course will jumpstart your knowledge and strengthen your capacity to take part in guiding our datafied world. The course carries the broad, inclusive spirit of Berkeley’s Data Science curriculum into the area of human society and collective choices.