Technology Ethics Minor
What are the ethical responsibilities associated with developing artificial intelligence systems? What about the moral obligations of the companies and other entities that subsequently use those AI systems to automate aspects of their work? How do we address and prevent bias in decisions made by computers?
Or take the many and ever-expanding ways our lives are lived online. Can we do anything to fight mis- and disinformation? How much privacy should we expect in exchange for the convenience of online transactions? What do institutions owe us when it comes to protecting our data?
- Introduction to the Minor
- Application Process
- Fall 2023 Courses
- Regularly Taught Courses
- Additional Courses
- Double-Counting Courses
Open to students from all colleges and schools at Notre Dame, the undergraduate minor in tech ethics consists of five courses totaling 15 credits, broken up as follows:
- One required gateway course called “Fundamentals of Technology Ethics and Society” (3 credits; fulfills the University’s second philosophy requirement)
- One required advanced seminar on a current issue in tech ethics (3 credits)
- Three electives (9 credits)
Electives are taught by faculty members from various disciplines—but especially those from the College of Arts and Letters, College of Engineering, Mendoza College of Business, and Keough School for Global Affairs—and have been designated as counting toward the minor in tech ethics.
By the end of your studies, you will:
- Possess a basic understanding of foundational concepts and issues in technology ethics
- Be able to identify ethical, social, and policy implications of technology
- Be familiar with normative theories that inform ethical thinking
- Know how to address issues in technology ethics from multiple disciplinary perspectives
Admission to the minor will be reviewed and approved by the academic directors based upon students’ demonstrated interest, academic standing, and space availability. You’re encouraged to take the gateway course before applying for the minor but are not required to do so.
Questions before applying? You can email Kellye Mitros, who advises students in the program.
Undergraduate tech ethics courses being offered in fall 2023 are listed below. More information about any of them can be found on Notre Dame’s Class Search website by going to the “Any Department” dropdown menu and selecting “Technology Ethics.”
Fundamentals of Technology Ethics and Society
Two sections available:
Science, Technology, & Society
(TEC 20112/STV 20556; counts as second philosophy or writing-intensive course)
12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m.
The Language of Science
(TEC 23201/STV 23201)
9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
Auditing AI: An Introduction
(TEC 30114/CDT 30614)
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Generative AI in the Wild
(TEC 30750/CDT 30750)
2:00 p.m.–3:15 p.m.
(TEC 33997/CDT 30797; counts as second philosophy)
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
The courses listed below, which have been designated as meeting a requirement for the tech ethics minor, aren’t necessarily being offered in the upcoming semester but are taught regularly.
|Course Title||Course Number|
|Fundamentals of Technology Ethics and Society||TEC 20101|
|Data Feminism||AMST 30104|
|Race and Technologies of Surveillance||AMST 30125|
|How to Do Things with Data||ANTH 43316|
|Technology, Self, and Society||EG 33999|
|Ethics of Data Analytics||ITAO 40150 (1.5 credits)|
|Case Studies in Ethics of Data and Analytics||TEC 4XXXX (1.5 credits; cross-listed and taken concurrently with ITAO 40150)|
|Application, Ethics, and Governance of AI||KSGA 30411|
|Future of Labor||MGA 60764/ECON 40410|
|Ethics of Emerging Weapon Technologies||PHIL 20628|
|Data Ethics||PHIL 24455|
|Robot Ethics||PHIL 24632|
|Algorithms, Data, and Society||SOC 20919|
|Science, Technology, & Society||STV 20556|
|Seminar on Current Issues in Tech Ethics||(TEC 43XXX)|
Beyond the courses listed above, there are others that can be counted toward the tech ethics minor. These additional courses are taught more infrequently and/or limited to students enrolled in a specific program.
- AI and Social Good (CSE 40171)
- Ethical and Professional Issues in Engineering (CSE 40175/EG 44175)
- Modern Physics & Moral Responsibility (PHIL 20604)
- Philosophy of Technology (PHIL 20608)
- Environmental Justice (PHIL 43308)
- Science and Social Values (PHIL 43704)
- Philosophy of Science and Public Policy (PHIL 43715)
- Ethics & Policy in Tech Management (PHIL 43722)
- Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence (PHIL 43903)
- Data and Politics (POLS 30111)
Away From Main Campus
- History of Design: Form, Value, Technology (ARHI 44580) (Perth, Australia)
- Posthuman Studies: Intro to Transhumanism (PHIL 24281) (Athens, Greece)
- Tech & Innovation Ethics (PHIL 24448) (Silicon Valley)
- Applied Ethics: Information Ethics (PHIL 24520) (Galway, Ireland)
- Philosophy of Science & Technology (PHIL 24608) (Twickenham, England)
- Ethics of Emerging Technology (PHIL 24622) (Rome, Italy)
- Ethics & Environmental Justice (POLS 34617) (Santiago, Chile)
A number of elective courses count for particular majors and minors. The University’s rules for double-counting have changed starting with the Class of 2022. You should consult with your college/school academic adviser if you are interested in double-counting courses for other majors or minors. The authority to approve a double-count lies with the academic dean in each college or the dean’s designee, not with the director or associate director of the tech ethics minor. You should also consult with the academic dean or the dean’s designee of your major college regarding transfer credits and credits for study abroad courses that would be cross-listed within that college.