Intersection of Law, Science, Technology, & the Humanities
Intersection of Law, Science, Technology, & the Humanities
Marissa J. Moran, Esq., Yu-Wen Chen, Ph.D., Sarah A. Standing, Ph.D.
Departments of Law & Paralegal Studies, Computer Systems Technology, and Humanities
Public Interest-Technology Curriculum
Theatre of Law
(course submitted for NYCCT College
Curriculum Committee acceptance/vote)
Law & Computer Systems Technology
in development stage)
How best to incorporate the wealth of
educational/research material currently available
through technologies and drawn from the social,
cultural, economic, political and legal aspects of
our society today has brought together professors
from three distinct disciplines and schools at New
York City College of Technology, CUNY to
research, design, and create innovative new
courses and to continually revise content and
methodology in existing courses. This dynamic
and interdisciplinary approach to learning allows
our undergraduate students opportunities to
research and apply their knowledge to existing
societal issues, in real-time to analyze, discuss,
and suggest ways to improve upon existing
policies and proceduresin particular, security,
privacy, Artificial Intelligence/AIand to assess
the impact of the decisions rendered from many
and varied perspectives including an examination
of the potential bias and influence of creators of
algorithms/code, which invisibly navigates and
informs much of our lives.
Law & Technology
In law classes, undergraduate students supplement
text readings with ripped-from-the headline type
cases/issues that are present in society. The undergraduate
students are encouraged to recognize trends in the law,
review pending and/or decided cases, legislative
proposals, and legislative hearings such as those
involving tech company policies/procedures, to better
understand the impact of such decisions on their own
lives, their families lives, and the lives of all people in
society. From local/state divorce matters to breaches and
damages regarding the Federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C.
2511 &2520, to international matters of espionage and
hacking, the undergraduate students realize the relevance
of the role and place of technology in the courtroom, and
the need to work with experts from a variety of
disciplines, such as Forensic Science, Computer Systems
Technology, and Humanities.
Law & Computer Systems Technologies
Utilizing the computer systems technologies allows
students to exam digital media in a forensically sound
manner of identifying, preserving, recovering, analyzing
and presenting facts and opinions about the information.
With the guidance of the fundamentals of forensic
investigations, evidence handling, and storage, students
can conduct the high-tech investigation, from acquiring
digital evidence, triage to reporting its findings. Students
will be able to set up a forensics lab with the latest
forensic software, obtain the proper and necessary tools,
and conduct the investigation and subsequent digital
analysis. These skills could significantly empower
students ability to effectively not only find facts using
digital artifacts and evidence but also communicate case
findings to technical and non-technical persons.
Law, Science, & Artificial Intelligence
The Executive Order on Maintaining American
Leadership in Artificial Intelligence was issued by
President Donald J. Trump on February 11, 2019 and states
in part that AI will not only advance technology, but it will
also impact the economy, national security, and overall
improve life in general. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice
John Roberts noted that the day in which smart machines,
driven with artificial intelligences, assist with courtroom
fact-finding or even, judicial decision-making is already
here and it's putting a significant strain on how the judiciary
goes about doing things."
In the criminal case State v. Loomis, 881 N.W.2d 749
(Wis. 2016), for example, the Wisconsin Supreme Court
ruled that a warning is required before use of algorithmic
risk assessment in sentencing. Loomis was sentenced to six
years in prison due in part to AI algorithms. The system
analyzed data about Loomis and made recommendations to
a human judge about the suggested length of Loomis'
sentence. Scholars caution that overt discrimination based
on demographics and socioeconomic status, may occur
with such assessment tools. Sonja B. Starr, Evidence-Based
Sentencing and the Scientific Rationalization of Discrimination,
66 Stan. L. Rev. 803, 806 (2014).803, 806 (2014).
Law & Humanities (Communication / Theatre)
As Big Data finds its way ever more frequently into
adjudications, the value of Humanities emphasis on
qualitative analysis grows. Communication foregrounds
assumptions and challenges implicit biases, while also
strengthening ethical communication skills and strategies.
Theatres investigation of motivation and tactics, deep
examination of the human, and ultimate conviction of the
value of inclusivity make it a useful partner for social justice
and technology. Courtroom Drama, a genre that often
utilizes actual court transcripts, depicts heightened reactions
to conflicthelping students to understand more readily the
nature of conflict and its resolution.
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