Mike Skirpan

Who Am I?

I am an ethicist, writer, artist, educator, and concerned citizen based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Currently I serve as the executive director at Community Forge and as a special faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University.

I received my PhD from CU-Boulder's Department of Computer Science in Fall 2017. My thesis focused on the use of socio-technical narrative as a way of communicating, comprehending, teaching, and debating the ethics of new and near-future technologies. My research spans topics such as design fiction, technology ethics, classroom design, engineering ethics pedagogy, futures, and risk. I am now continuing this work through a special faculty appointment in Carnegie Mellon's Department of Philosophy focused on designing curricula and iniatives to teach ethics in computing.

I am now the executive director at Community Forge, a mission-driven organization dedicated to rehabbing the Johnston Elementary School in Wilkinsburg, PA into a community centered focused on education, arts, civics, and local business development. My technical work is now done through a social enterprise, Probable Models, that focuses on supporting and exploring ethical technologies. Please explore my website, which stays (somewhat) up-to-date with my current projects and writings.

Recent Work

Community Forge

Community Forge at the former Johnston Elementary School

We are rehabbing a 45,000 sqft elementary school into a community center. Our tenants include education non-profits, arts organizations, an extreme sports company, local mission-driven businesses owners, individuals in our co-working spaces, and more. We hope to co-operativize our building's equity within the next 12-18 months.

Summer 2017 - Present
Quantified Self: Immersive Data Experience

Quantified Self: Immersive Data Experience

We produced a pilot immersive theater piece that incorporated personal data shared by the audience to customize the narrative and personalize 10 interactive installations within the set.

Spring 2016 - Now

Flow

In collaboration with Maotik, I did data engineering for the interactive, immersive installation "Flow," presented at Ars Electronica 2016.

September 2016
CoLab

Collaborative Laboratories - Tennessee Land Project

I put my free time into taking care of a beauitful piece of land in Tennessee with a community of artists and engineers called CoLab.

2013 - Present

Contact Me

Feel free to get in touch with me about my work or for collaboration or whatever else.

  • Inquiries related to my consulting or contracting on ML, ethical engineering, design, or art: mike [at] probablemodels [dot] com
  • Inquiries related to Community Forge: mike [at] forge [dot] community
  • Inquiries related to my research or work with Carnegie Mellon: mskirpan [at] cmu [dot] edu