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Fall 2023 Reading Group

Governing Digital Technologies

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

There has been a vigorous, decades-long debate around the governance of digital technology – one conducted variously in the public sphere, in academia, and among regulators and legislators – with a discernible impact on the development and use of consumer-facing technologies. These technologies include the Internet and applications built on top of it; AI and machine learning; and the digital platforms that began as individual apps but then became themselves a more comprehensive, at times totalizing, infrastructure of ubiquitous sensors, data, and user analysis.

This reading group will strive to contextualize today’s technology-driven policy challenges in terms of some of the complex technical, legal, and political arcs of digital governance. Over the course of six sessions, we will provide an introduction into the roots of seemingly novel governance problems, as well as look at a few examples of questions of technology policy, looking for the limitations and opportunities confronting both regulators and private-sector decision makers – and the users of these technologies.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates, subject to change: 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/10, 10/16