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The continuous development of digital technologies has led to significant societal progress due to innovations in artificial intelligence, automation, communications media, computing, and interdisciplinary research. For example, with regard to artificial intelligence, it can help people with improved health care, safer cars and other transport systems, and easier access to information, education and training. AI can make workplaces safer as robots can be used for dangerous parts of jobs, and it can enable the development of a new generation of products and services for businesses. AI can also be used in energy and waste management and it could improve the sustainability of products. Some even argue that democracy can be made stronger by using data-based scrutiny, preventing disinformation, cyber-attacks, crime and terrorist attacks, and by mitigating the possibility of prejudice in hiring decisions and using analytical data instead.


Whereas many appreciate the progress digital technologies bring about, others are fearful of its potentially negative ramifications. Concerns about digital technologies include problems related to job insecurity, data insecurity, the spread of disinformation, plagiarism and copyright, and privacy and surveillance issues, to name only a few. According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress, federal and state “oversight of digital technologies is fragmented, incomplete, under-resourced, and unable to respond to emerging or even established harms in a timely manner.” This begs the question: what regulatory measures should be adopted and enforced “…while balancing the multiple, competing interests at the heart of many sociotechnical regulatory decisions”? (https://www.americanprogress.org/article/how-to-regulate-tech-a-technology-policy-framework-for-online-services/). What can and should be done to ensure that digital technologies are used beneficially while still promoting freedom and equitable access for all?

Your challenge is to identify a significant problem related to digital technology, research its various implications, and come up with an innovative solution that benefits society while avoiding significant harm. Research the issues relevant to your topic, analyze them, and propose ways to mitigate the conflicts you discover. As you develop your project, be sure to contact and interview people, organizations, and pertinent groups so you can incorporate their insights.

Getting Started

Credo Reference provides hundreds of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, and more in one place. Below is a sample of keyword searches in Credo Reference related to this topic.


Natural general intelligence : how understanding the brain can help us build AI / Summerfield, Christopher

Algorithms for the people : democracy in the age of AI / Simons, Josh

All-in on AI : how smart companies win big with artificial intelligence / Davenport, Thomas

Political theory of the digital age: where artificial intelligence might take us / Risse, Mathias

How data happened: A history of the age of reason to the age of algorithms / Wiggins, Chris

Working with AI: real stories of human machine collaboration / Davenport, Thomas



The following databases are useful places to search for articles. Contact a librarian if you would like more information on how to search for articles on your specific topic.

  • Academic Search Complete: Wide range of academic disciplines, including for scholarly and popular journals.
  • JSTOR– Full-text archive of scholarly journals in the arts and sciences. Issues from the past three to five years may not be available.
  • New York Times: Access to news and archival content from NY Times. If you run into a paywall, here is more information on how to sign up.
  • ProQuest Research Library: Includes both popular and scholarly periodicals covering a variety of subjects, with over 3300 titles available in full text.

Get articles from other libraries

If you cannot find a full-text version of the article you need, request it through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan is a free service that allows you to borrow books and articles from other libraries. Find answers to frequently asked questions about ILL here.

Government Sources

National Institute of Standards and Technology: NIST contributes to the research, standards, and data required to realize the full promise of artificial intelligence (AI) as an enabler of American innovation across industry and economic sectors.

U.S. Department of State: Initiatives and resources on artificial intelligence from the U.S. Department of State.

The National AI Advisory Committee: The NAIAC is tasked with advising the President and the National AI Initiative Office on topics related to the National AI Initiative.

Andrew Prellwitz

Prellwitz, Andrew

Librarian-User Services and Director of Lane Library

[email protected]