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Presentation: Ethics in Computing, From Academia to Industry

Track: Ethics in Computing

Location: Soho Complex, 7th fl.

Duration: 5:25pm - 6:15pm

Day of week: Wednesday

Slides: Download Slides

Level: Intermediate

Persona: Architect, CTO/CIO/Leadership, Developer, General Software

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Thinking about ethics and social responsibility should begin in academia and continue through industry. We learn to build and write scalable, efficient, clean algorithms and code that impact millions. We learn to optimize our data systems. When we get to industry, we continue this trend. Our performance reviews also reflect what we learn in academia. The ethics, social responsibility, and long-term impacts of our products are often not as widely considered. We also often work in engineering silos, occasionally pulling in other deeply human disciplines as thought partners on how our products affect humanity. Come to learn and discuss actions being taken in academia and industry today, and hear about actionable paths forward to create cultures that build more responsible software and services for all people. 

Speaker: Kathy Pham

Product Leader and Computer Scientist, former USDS @WhiteHouse, @Google, @IBM

Kathy Pham is a computer scientist, software engineer, and product leader who has spent over 12 years building products at Google, IBM, and the federal government at the United States Digital Service at the White House where she was a founding product and engineering member. Kathy is currently researching the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center and MIT Media Lab. She leads the Ethical Tech working group, where she explores topics across computer science ethics curricula, industry norms and ethics, user and community voices in product development, and how to infuse tech into other disciplines like law, policy, and social science. Kathy holds a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Supelec in Metz, France.

Find Kathy Pham at