On Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College hosted Rabbi Dr. Avi Rosenfeld as part of its ongoing luncheon speaker series. Dr. Rosenfeld, who lives in Israel and is an adjunct professor of computer science at YC as well as an associate professor of computer science at the Jerusalem College of Technology in Jerusalem, Israel, presented “Artificial Intelligence: Ethics, Law, and Judaism.”
Dr. Rosenfeld discussed the complexities that artificial intelligence will pose to adherents of Jewish law as computer programmers keep refining it. Yosef Tropp’24YC remarked, “It was fascinating to learn from Professor Rosenfeld about the crossover between halacha [Jewish law] and machine intelligence.” In particular, Tropp praised Dr. Rosenfeld’s comparison of the use of Amazon’s Alexa to the concept of amira l’nochri [the prohibition of asking a non-Jew to perform labor on the Jewish Sabbath].
Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Schnall, director of the Honors Program, explained that Dr. Rosenfeld’s talk “exemplifies the Torah U’madda [Torah and secular knowledge] studies that YU’s Honors students find particularly fascinating,” adding that “this lecture was another installment in an eclectic slate of events for the Honors luncheon series this semester.”
On Monday, Oct. 25, the Honors students enjoyed a seminar on research methodology in preparation for their honors thesis work.