We successfully completed five projects during the Fall 2021 semester. The projects focused on climate change, emotional AI, robotics, surveillance capitalism and synthetic biology. Links to the individual projects are below.
Congratulations to everyone who prepared these excellent reports on some very interesting, and important, issues!
“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” (Winston Churchill)
This course will help you understand Churchill’s quote but particularly the second part of the quote. The impact of the development and integration of digital tools is driving change at every level of society, often in ways that are unnoticeable unless you are aware enough to be paying attention. The combinatorial effect of the trends driven by this digital revolution is remarkable, overwhelming and largely unstoppable. We will not try to “predict” the future here. We will learn to identify technologies and the trends facilitated by them so as to better anticipate and forecast future scenarios.
The challenge presented here is not dependent on your ability to memorize facts and regurgitate them in an exam or write a ten page term paper, all assignments where you have already demonstrated success. This course will push you out of whatever comfort zone(s) you have developed over time, immerse you in subject matter that will be largely unfamiliar and challenge you to think differently about the future and your place in it.
We will cover an evolving subject matter using technology platforms that may (at least some of them) be unfamiliar. That said, the subject matter of the course is interesting, stimulating and very timely. We will investigate several emerging and disruptive technologies and the legal and regulatory challenges presented by them. We will use a variety of digital platforms to interact with each other and the course materials. I will actively engage you through the use of the Socratic Method, both in class and during our discussions outside class. You will have a better sense of my class sessions after you read my perspective on Teaching and Learning.
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” (Wayne Gretzky)
The course will help prepare you to incorporate Gretzky’s perspective in your personal and professional life. DT&L examines several of the many issues and challenges propelled by technology driven disruption. As noted above, it is clear that the established order in business, and society more generally, faces unprecedented change as a result. Since the legal and regulatory environment, broadly defined, is often among the most significant influencer of outcomes in this space we will examine the implications of these disruptive technologies on the law as well. The pace and significance of the change we will examine raise profound questions of ethics that will be at the core of many of our discussions. In the spirit of disruption we have, in past semesters, taken a hybrid (or blended) approach to this learning environment that we will be creating, modifying and consuming over several months.
One last thought for now… the nature of this experience will, of necessity, require you to think differently about where you have been, where you are going and how you experience learning. It is important that we not only get our arms around the subject matter but we must also develop strategies for dealing with an unprecedented era of remarkable, and rapid, change. I expect that we will develop a significantly different, more collaborative environment… one that anticipates that we will actively engage in all of its opportunities.