By Lily Stuart
In the wake of a new era of artificial intelligence, collaborative efforts to integrate ethics into technological development become ever more pressing. Luckily, college campuses are already beginning to do so. On March 6, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) announced a $2 million commitment from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation to support a new initiative at CWRU that will integrate education in the humanities more deeply with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs. The university will use the money in two main areas: developing a new major titled “Experimental Humanities” and financially supporting research projects that combine the humanities with technological innovation. The development of programs like these supports a moral compass in an age where AI seems to possess every human ability besides consciousness.
Students at CWRU have been informally studying within this major for years, however. Over the past five years, the number of students double-majoring across the two areas (Humanities and STEM) increased by 20%. Now, students who would typically spend double the time to pursue both their ethical and scientific passions will have the ability to do both in a more timely and supportive environment. This grant funding and new major will allow greater opportunities for students who care simultaneously about technological advancement and sustainability within a world that never seems to slow its pace.