New values for a new era
Digital technologies have become a pervasive feature of modern social, economic, and political life. They are integral to how most of us live, work, learn, entertain ourselves, and interact with others. Yet as powerful and appealing as many of these digital technologies are, they also pose fundamental ethical, social, and political challenges:
- How do we ensure trust and accountability in institutions and processes that increasingly rely on complex, opaque, and often fundamentally unknowable algorithms?
- How do we resist the polarizing and fragmenting imperatives inherent in social media?
- How can we encourage the development of digital tools that encourage thoughtfulness, kindness, and mutual respect rather than distraction, antagonism, and individualism?
- How can we cultivate in students the skills and character required to successfully navigate the complex challenges posed by digital technologies?
The goal of IU's Developing Character for a Digital World project is to develop a coherent, integrated approach to incorporating meaningful ethical conversation about digital technology across the curriculum at Indiana University. Scholars, activists, students, and fellow citizens to help us design useful materials and a sustainable infrastructure for supporting this mission. The tools and materials we develop will be shared with educational institutions across the state of Indiana and, ideally, the nation.
Similarly, Purdue University will use their Lilly Endowment funding to create Leading Ethically in the Age of AI and Big Data, an initiative to foster character and ethical values in students as they learn the science and technology relating to digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data management.