Learn about some of the thorniest ethical challenges facing the tech industry by studying emerging innovations like artificial intelligence, analyzing popular apps like SnapChat and designing your own app.

What steps should social media outlets take to limit the spread of fake news? How can you harness government data to improve community services? Do popular fitness trackers actually improve your health? Are Snapchat streaks addictive? Each day we grapple with the ways in which digital innovations are impacting society and our lives.

In this course, students will explore the promise and pitfalls of digital innovations in the context of their own lives as well as against the backdrop of New York City – a major hub for technology innovation and research. Starting with smartphones and the popular apps used every day, students will examine how digital devices are transforming the way people communicate, learn, shop, work, entertain themselves and maintain a sense of privacy. Students will also learn to design their own apps and think critically about design choices and the potential societal and personal consequences of their innovations.

Site Visits:

Digital innovations are a rapidly changing field. Instructors will plan relevant site visits to reflect the current events and environment. Previous courses have visited:

Cornell Tech & Cornell Innovation Lab
Data & Society Research Center
Microsoft’s NYC Headquarters
x.ai, an artificial intelligence start-up
Venmo headquarters

Students enrolled in NYC Summer Academy will have the opportunity to visit The New York Times newsroom and/or The Times printing press.

Guest Speakers and Lecturers:

Speakers and lecturers will vary with the instructors and terms. Previous speakers include:

Greg Hochmuth, founder of Dreams.TV and former engineer, Google, Facebook, Instagram
John Paul Farmer, Microsoft’s Director of Civic Innovation in NYC
Alex Rosenblat, gig economy expert and author of the book “Uberland”
Aaron Krolik, New York Times, software engineer and data reporters



Cost and Session Information

Day Program: $5,150*

Residential Program: $5,750*

Dates: June 9 - June 21

*Listed program costs do not include course-specific lab and materials fees. Learn more on our website.

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