ES.S40 How Science Can Enable a More Cooperative Future


Courtesy Posting
Undergraduate Level
Units: 3-0-6
Prerequistes: none
Instructors: Henry Lieberman, Research Scientist, CSAIL ( ; Christopher Fry, Haddington Robotics (
Schedule: TBD, online instruction
This is a "big think" course about the future of technology and society.  It has the unifying theme of the tradeoff between cooperation and competition.
The course covers a variety of topics in computer science, biology, psychology, philosophy, mathematics, economics, political science, and more. We present our thesis that technological advancements like artificial intelligence and personal manufacturing will shift the tradeoff, increasing the value of cooperation and reducing the value of competition. That will provide an unprecedented opportunity to redesign our social structures in a more cooperative and sustainable way. We provide concrete proposals for how this might be done for the central institutions of the economy, government, justice, and education. We welcome alternative proposals, as well as critiques and disagreements.  We see this course as a "design workshop" for a future society.