If You Could, Would you? Exploring the ethical questions of new technologies on the self


INSTRUCTOR: Gabriela Alvarez


SCHEDULE: Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:45 PM (Synchronous Online)

Course Description

In our pursuit of maximizing human potential, the implications of new technologies are often ill-conceived and can have dire ramifications. This course will use the British television science-fiction anthology Black Mirror to explore these ethical dilemmas centered around human behavior, human limitations, and the promise of human enhancement. The focus of this course is centered around the individual choice and risks and rewards of choosing to interact with technologies that could enrich their lives in the immediate but perhaps have long-term consequences.

Emergent technologies can have unintended consequences, frequently resulting in unexpected ethical dilemmas for themselves and society at large. Students will apply practical strategies for identifying and managing ethical issues at the intersection of human behavior, technology, and society.

Black Mirror is speculative fiction with futuristic elements that allow for envisioning possibilities of ethical implications that science and logic may not afford. By leveraging Black Mirror, students will vividly tap into previously unconsidered uses of technology and be presented with robust examples of ethical themes and their impact there own individual goals, aspirations, and life outcomes. Thus, enabling students to reflect and answer the question, if I could, would I?