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Regulating Emerging Technology: Risks, Opportunities, and Reality

Boyd, C. (PI)
Section Number
Geared towards graduate students and advanced undergraduates, this course aims to provide students with an interdisciplinary framework for thinking about both why and when new technology should be regulated, as well as how to create effective regulations and policies when the pace of technological innovation often far exceeds the pace at which laws and public policies can be made. Through case studies involving specific areas of emerging technology, we will explore the opportunities that new technologies provide for improvement to a broad range of human domains - including the physical and social sciences, healthcare, economics, equity/justice, and national security. At the same time, we will consider risks presented by those same technologies, learn about policies and regulatory structures (both public and private) aimed at mitigating those risks, and reflect on potential risks and opportunities associated with the regulatory process itself. Readings and discussions will touch on the nature of relationships among scientific and technological experts, public officials, activists, and ordinary citizens - including problems of science literacy and communication between policymakers and practitioners. Students from all schools are encouraged to enroll, with the aim of creating opportunities for students to engage in the type of cross-discipline dialogue we will be discussing in class. Specific case studies may include: consumer data privacy, facial recognition, election-related misinformation and disinformation, regulation of the metaverse, automation and machine learning in military technology.
Letter or Credit/No Credit
Academic Career
Course Tags
Science and Technology Policy - Gateway
Academic Year
Section Days
Wednesday Friday
Start Time
1:30 PM
End Time
2:50 PM
Littlefield 103