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Technology and Societal Impacts

The technologies developed by engineers affect how we live and work, bringing both benefits and harms. For example, the Internet provides access to knowledge, but it also enables the spread of misinformation. When engineers build artificial intelligence for decision-making into self-driving cars and patient-monitoring medical devices, the quality and reliability of those decisions makes the difference between saving lives and injuring people. Since different people can experience different benefits and harms, technologies raise questions of ethics and social justice. As a consequence, engineers need to understand the ethics of technological development and research, including engineers’ specific professional obligations and their broader social responsibilities. Engineering leaders should promote cultures of ethics in their organizations.

Research

Using mathematical, computational, and social science research methods, the faculty in the Technology and Societal Impacts Group conduct research on:

  • Social impacts of artificial intelligence
  • Technology and inclusion 
  • Access to health through technology
  • Digital democracy
  • Social networks and algorithms
  • Professional and research ethics
  • Institutional integrity, leadership, and professional development
  • Engineering education research

Related Faculty

Group Contact:
Diana Scott
dlscott@illinois.edu
(217) 300-7784

Research Associate Professor
Professor Emeritus, CSL
Professor Emerita of Business Administration
Professor of Computer Science
Professor of Industrial and Systems Enterprise Engineering
Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science


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