Date Posted: 4/04/2019


Good Code is a new collaboration between the Digital Life Initiative (DLI) at Cornell Tech and journalist Chine Labbé, currently a Visiting Journalist at the campus. While the DLI aims to offer “society perspective on digital technology,” Good Code is a weekly podcast “about ethics in our digital world.” The mandate of the podcast is to “look at ways in which our increasingly digital societies could go terribly wrong, and speak with those trying to prevent that. Each week, our host Chine Labbé engages with a different expert on the ethical dilemmas raised by our ever-more pervasive digital technologies.” Labbé describes the podcast as “Black Mirror meets The Good Place: tech dystopias, with a way out.”

Of herself, Labbé notes: “I am a reporter, writer and podcast host and producer with nine years of experience working and reporting from New York, Paris, Chile, Morocco, Greece, Israel and the Palestinian territories. After six years at Reuters in Paris, where I covered politics, courts, security and terrorism, I relocated to New York City in early 2017 where my husband created an AI start-up.” 

About her approach to the podcast and news more generally, Labbé writes: “I’m very interested in the fight against fake news and how to best teach media literacy to younger folks. That’s why I am a contributing analyst at NewsGuard, writing analysis of French news sites. I also teach workshops on press freedom to kids in public schools in New York.”

Other Cornell-based initiatives and faculty addressing ethics and digital life include:

—The CIS-based Ethics, Law, and Policy research group, in which cross-disciplinary researchers “explore how to govern emerging technologies, examine how tech challenges existing legal and policy frameworks, and how to mediate their risks while reaping their benefits.”

—The MacArthur Foundation-funded Artificial Intelligence, Policy, and Practice (AIPP) is housed in CIS. Members of the AIPP “approach AI as a fundamentally socio-technical phenomenon, one that must be understood with both normative depth and technical precision. We combine technical, sociological, philosophical and legal expertise and methods, in order to more fully understand and more wisely develop the future path and impact of AI. We aim to contribute to—and engage with—researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.”

The Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity "models integrative, interdisciplinary learning by combining a superb liberal arts education in Cornell's College of Arts & Sciences with cutting-edge programs and courses for undergraduates at Cornell Tech, Cornell's new  graduate campus in New York City on Roosevelt Island. Its goal is to cultivate innovative and creative leaders across a broad spectrum of field—leaders who are both tech-savvy and steeped in humanistic values." 

Solon Barocas, an associate professor in IS whose focus is the ethics of machine learning, founded the Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*) program. The ACM FAT* conference will next convene in Barcelona in January 2020. Read his co-authored piece, with Danah Boyd, “Engaging the Ethics of Data Science in Practice” in Communications of the ACM.

—and Karen Levy, a New America Fellow and fellow at the Data and Society Research Institute in New York City, as well as an assistant professor in the IS department, coordinates the Tech/Law Colloquium.