Himmelreich named to Syracuse Surveillance Technology Work Group

Johannes HimmelreichA Maxwell School faculty member whose research focus includes artificial intelligence and ethics is one of 13 selected by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh to serve on a Surveillance Technology Work Group, whose mission is to ensure community input in its use, including law enforcement.

Johannes Himmelreich, assistant professor of public administration and international affairs and researcher with the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Campbell Public Affairs Institute, is one of five community members named to the group that Walsh says will ensure “surveillance tools are implemented in a safe and well-governed way.”

The city defines surveillance technologies as tools that “observe or analyze the movements, behavior or actions of identifiable individuals in a manner that is reasonably likely to raise concerns about civil liberties, freedom of speech or association, racial equity or social justice.”

A researcher focused on the ethics of autonomous systems, including drones and self-driving cars, Himmelreich teaches classes in ethics and human values, including ethics of data science and emerging technologies. He joined the Maxwell School in 2019 as part of Invest Syracuse cluster hiring in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and human technology. Earlier that same year, the University launched ASPI to advance interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching on the design, governance and wider implications of autonomous systems.

- By Steve Buchiere, 10/11/21