Home Computing Innovation Digital Divide Computer Bias Crowdsourcing Legal and Ethical Issues Safe Computing

Computer Science Principles Research

By: Chase Lee

Computing Innovation

Computing innovation is the solving of problems with innovations that uses a computer or program code.

Computing innovation has many different beneficial as well as harmful effects. One of the effects of this is the creation of machines that have changed the medical field for the better such as high-tech X-rays and MRI machines which treat cancer. Another large effect is the expansion of communication.

Through these computing innovations, we have created things like the internet and even our own phones which we use daily to communicate and socialize with many of our friends and families. The final effect I will mention is the way that people are able to release their artistic side to the world through new ways of creating and sharing/selling works. For example, people now draw images on ipads and it is called digital art where people are not limited to their tool supply.

There are also harmful effects that computing innovation has had on the world. One of them is the reliance on technology. This reliance of technology could be a major factor in the downfall of many different things that make us human such as in person social interactions and other things people would normally experience 100 years ago. Another harmful effect could be the replacement of humans in place for different, more efficient tools such as robots or ai. This leads to the loss of old jobs and new economic hardships for many people.

Digital Divide

Digital divide refers to the the unequal access to digital technology across different regions and demographics.

There are many different factors that play into what digital divide and some of them are the demographic, geography, and the socioeconomic aspects. For the demographic, there are barriers in age as the younger generations tend to get the hang of technology faster and more willingly than older generations. Also, there are people with higher levels of education that are more likely to have the chances to use and have access to these technologies.

The socioeconomic aspect is really just due to the cost of these tools such as iphones, tvs, pcs, tablets, and more. The people with higher incomes have the luxury to purchase these while people with lower incomes don't have the privilege to use money on these. Lastly is the geography which has to do with different countries and different parts of countries that might not have good internet or wifi, limiting the uses of technology.

Even though the divide is very severe, there are steps we can take to close the gap. One of them could be the big organizations like universities helping out by giving away resources to people who are in need of them such as poor college students. Another very large step would be involving the government in funding businesses and institutions that already do their best to help people gain access to the internet.

Computer Bias

Computer bias refers to the computer systems that unfairly discriminate select individuals or groups of individuals in favor of others.

Biases are things that are very commonly seen in the present day. Unfortunately, that means that even through computing innovations there are instances where biases are present. There is a need for the addression of human bias that is incorporated in these systems and before the fairness is implemented, there will still be the computer biases.

An example of this is the criminal risk assessment tools which are used to help determine if someone will commit another crime in the future. This is a unreliable and biased tool as it relies on historical data which involves race to come about answers. Purely based on stereotypes and false assumptions, different race groups are flagged as risks especially in crime.

Another example would be recruiting algorithms that are very prominent in companies which are used to sort through applicants unfairly. My last example is facial recognition systems that have serious problems which negatively affect women of color due to the lack in variety of the data provided to these systems. White men are the most commonly used images in the data sets which really limit the diversity of the data.


Crowdsourcing is the the practice of turning to a large group of people (usually through the internet) to obtain information.

Crowdsourcing is very common and used by a large majority of people. It allows for people to put out or gain information from the general public with ease. If you have posted a question on an online form and have recieved an answer, this is an example of crowdsourcing at its simplest. Many of these things we have come across on the internet such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter.

This sharing of information is typically used in things like companies where they can get information and feedback from their customers to see what adjustments and measures of change they should take. Companies take major advantage of this feedback to be able to change and adapt to their customers needs, leading to more business.

Another instance of this could be the most common way to crowdsource which would be scouting out information to solve a problem they might not know how to approach such as what is "pi". People also can do the opposite where they can submit their own ideas to try and help others gain this information.

Legal and Ethical Issues with Computing

Computing innovations can and are used for unethical and illegal purposes.

The intellectual property and copyright law are areas of concern when it comes to the issues of computing innovations. Intellectual property means the "creations of the mind" that are made using a computer. During this age where everything is on the internet, plagarism and fraud is a very common occurence online where people believe is a place where they will not be caught.

The intellectual rights are given to the creator of the thing and creators can make contracts to give away their rights to the intellectual property. Due to this being digital and also due to the evolution of technology, these rights are being challenged on places like the internet where it is very easy to make share and make copies of works. Large amounts of fraud being committed call for legal actions to take place.

This is where copyright comes into play. Copyright is the legal right to a work that the creator has. The two types of rights are economic rights and moral rights. With the use of these rights, creators can protect their content and prevent plagiarism from happening.

Safe Computing

Safe computing is a number of different things used to help keep your information and computer safe.

During this day and age, there are a large number of sites that use things like cookies to access information. Search engines also have targeted marketing which is when they give people ads based on their search history. All of these things can also access your ip adress and all the places you have been.

To prevent some of these things from happening, it is best to protect things like your age, race, phone number, social security number, etc. There are both benefits and disadvantages of information collection. Some of the benefits can be connecting with people or things you find relate to you faster and also being more entertained with things that align with your interests. Some of the disadvantages would be people knowing of you location or social security number which could end up in identity theft or worse.

Besides these threats, there is also chances of getting your computer infected by a virus or worm. A virus online is similar to the ones in real life, being able to spread and infect files, gaining access to personal information or completely controlling your computer. One of the only ways to prevent this from happening is being cautious and informed which means not clicking on any shady links and not talking to strangers online.