Technology is driving the future, but who is doing the steering?

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations


David Ruth

Amy McCaig

Technology is driving the future, but who is doing the steering?
Jan. 22 Rice U. lecture to focus on tech’s impact on society

HOUSTON – (Jan. 15, 2019) – Where is technology taking us?

Jan. 22 Rice U. lecture to focus on tech's impact on society.Moshe Vardi, the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering, a professor of computer science and director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University, will explore how to deal with technology’s impact on society in a Jan. 22 lecture.

The event will take place in McMurtry Auditorium, inside Rice’s Duncan Hall, from 4 to 5 p.m. A reception will follow.

“Many of us got involved in computing because programming was fun,” Vardi said. “The benefits of computing seemed intuitive to us. We truly believe that computing yields tremendous societal benefits — for example, the life-saving potential of driverless cars is enormous!”

However, Vardi said, he and many others now realize that computing brings not only societal benefits, but also significant problems like disinformation, labor polarization and smartphone addiction.

“The common reaction to this crisis is to label it as an ‘ethical crisis,’ and the proposed response is to add courses in ethics to the academic computing curriculum,” Varde said. “My argument is that the ethical lens is too narrow. The real issue is how to deal with technology’s impact on society.”

The lecture is hosted by the Department of Computer Science, the George R. Brown School of Engineering and the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology. It is free and open to the public, and will be webcast at

To RSVP for the lecture or for more information, visit!view/event/event_id/19044.

Media interested in covering the lecture should contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or


This news release can be found online at

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Event information:!view/event/event_id/19044

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About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.