Omidyar Network launches #ResponsibleCS Challenge

Silicon Valley Funders Issue Ambitious Challenge to Embed Ethical Thinking into Computer Science Curriculum at Colleges and Universities Nationwide

From the News Release:

Today, Omidyar Network – the Silicon Valley impact investment firm – MozillaSchmidt Futures, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies launched the Responsible Computer Science Challenge (#ResponsibleCS) to jump-start and scale promising approaches to integrating ethical thinking and social consideration into undergraduate computer science education. The Responsible Computer Science Challenge, incubated at Omidyar Network, will award up to USD$3.5 million in prizes to faculty who present promising approaches to embedding ethical thinking and social considerations into undergraduate Computer Science education between December 2018 and July 2020, in two phases.

Learn more about the Challenge and how to apply:

While technology offers unprecedented benefits to humanity, there is a growing consensus that more needs to be done across the tech sector to get ahead of unintended consequences before they arise. Through new and creative approaches to ethical training and curriculum, partners hope to equip a new generation of technologists with the skills needed to create products with robust guardrails around responsibility and accountability. 

“To ensure technology fulfills its potential as a positive force in the world, we are supporting the growth of a tech movement that is guided by the emerging mantra to move purposefully and fix things,” said Paula Goldman, global lead for Omidyar Network’s Tech and Society Solutions Lab. “Treating ethical reflection and discernment as an opt-in sends the wrong message to computer science students: that ethical thinking can be an ancillary exploration or an afterthought, that it’s not part and parcel of making code in the first place. Our hope is that this effort helps ensure that the next generation of tech leaders is deeply connected to the societal implications of the products they build.”

Projects will be judged by an independent, external review committee of 20 academics, tech industry leaders, and others, who will use evaluation criteria developed jointly by Omidyar Network and Mozilla. Judges include Bobby Schnabel, professor of computer science at the University of Colorado Boulder and former president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, Mary L. Gray, senior researcher at Microsoft Research, fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and associate professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with affiliations in Anthropology and Gender Studies at Indiana University, Joshua Cohen, Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society at Stanford University, and Brenda Darden Wilkerson, president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, among others. 

The deadline for applicants’ LOIs is December 13.

Click here to view the full release.

Omidyar Network launches #ResponsibleCS Challenge