The Study of Technology

Re “The Ivory Tower Can’t Keep Ignoring Tech,” by Cathy O’Neil (Op-Ed,, Nov. 14):

Ms. O’Neil is right to argue that the study of the effect and ethics of digital technology is urgent, important and deserving of more attention. But we disagree when she suggests that academics have been ignoring these issues.

On the contrary, scholars have been studying this for decades, in fields including science and technology studies, the sociology of science, the history and philosophy of science, technology policy, applied ethics, law and computer science itself. As the effect of artificial intelligence and other algorithms in our lives becomes increasingly apparent, the call for such work is growing louder.

We at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, an interdisciplinary collaboration including the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and the University of California at Berkeley, along with colleagues in many other universities around the world, are heeding this call.

Of course, there is much still to be done. We hope that Ms. O’Neil’s words will inspire others to join these continuing efforts.