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Finalists chosen for the Student Tech Policy Challenge

Congratulations to the finalists for the Student Tech Policy Challenge: “Kenan Institute for Ethics Policy Prize in the Ethics of Emerging Tech.” 
Joseph Hahn received the first place prize and Jacob Wall received the second place prize; and in the undergraduate category, Natalie Yu received the first place prize. Natalie sought permission to share her prize with the other undergraduate finalists. As a result, a $250 award was made to each of the remaining undergraduate finalists (three prizes of $250 each for three second place prize winners: Katherine Gan; Amy Jiang; and Jordan Shapiro/David Rein).
Thank you, once again, to our wonderful finalists. And a special thank you to our fantastic judges/competition Co-Chairs — Professor Ken Rogerson, Eliza Warner, and Professor Jonathan Wiener.

Graduate Category:
  1. Joseph Hahn, “Regulating the Export of Artificial Intelligence” (discussing challenges that arise from attempts to regulate the export of AI technologies and proposing multilateral approach to regulation).
  2. Jacob Taka Wall, “Data as Weapon: Combating Cyberwarfare with Export Controls” (discussing whether the International Traffic in Arms Regulation statute can be amended to encompass certain forms of data that can be weaponized in information warfare/cyberwarfare, such imposing export controls on aggregated data of US data brokers to prevent sale of data to foreign-owned companies, such as Cambridge Analytica).
Undergraduate Category:
  1. Katharine Gan, “The Ethics of AI in Criminal Justice” (discussing the need to reform criminal justice system to mitigate/eradicate discrimination before relying upon criminal justice data in sentencing algorithms, as the underlying data will reflect historical forms of discrimination and bias).
  2. Natalie Yu, “Practical and Ethical Implementation of the FDA Pre-Certification Program” (discussing the need to better define assessment criteria and employ in-house experts within the FDA before implementing the FDA Pre-Certification program which purports to evaluate the trustworthiness of digital health product companies).
  3. Jordan Shapiro and David Rein’s essay on orbital space debris, the student presented the following policy proposal in the Conclusion: “this paper argues that it is important and necessary to install ASAT (Anti-Satellite Technology) regulation immediately.” In Part I, the essay explains that space debris is the result of primary and secondary sources. Although ASAT events, a primary source of debris, are rare, the essay argues that the “urgency of the problem comes from the secondary source of space debris.”  It describes collateral or unintentional space debris that can result from primary sources, such as ASAT events. The essay advocates for legislation and multilateral treaties to ban ASAT technology. 
  4. Amy Jiang’s essay on Durham Open Data Day discusses the benefits and risks of open data, especially to communities of color. This essay approaches the topic of how to implement the principles of transparent government and challenges associated with making government data more accessible online to communities of color.