Seal logo of UNIV103: Let's Talk About Digital You

Let’s Talk About Digital You: A Technical and Ethical Exploration of a Data-Centric World

Spring 2024

UNIV103: Let’s Talk About Digital You seeks to explore the technology underlying the digital experiences we depend upon in our lives, as well as their ethical, political, and social implications. Through a combination of interactive lectures, hands-on workshops, and active discussions, this course will introduce students to a wide array of headline-making technology and what they mean for our society.

Fourteen faculty from across Duke’s campus will guide students through seven learning modules covering such topics as generative art (AI art), large language models (ChatGPT), AI in healthcare and business, and more. Students will spend the first week of each module learning about the featured technology through a lecture and a hands-on, guided workshop. During the second week of each module, students will learn about and discuss the societal and ethical implications of that technology. 

This course will help students develop the critical thinking skills they need to understand the complex digital world as it exists today and prepare them to navigate the rapidly-changing digital landscape as it continues to evolve. Collectively, students in the course will grapple with some of the most challenging technological and ethical questions of our time: What are the trade-offs, challenges, and opportunities of the digital experiences we interface with in our personal lives, at our jobs, and through our systems? What are these technologies missing? How might these technologies be used in new, creative, and socially responsive ways? 

In the News

“My hope is they will be much more thoughtful about promises and perils of digital age and how to navigate them for themselves and for society,” Farahany said. “As with the other university courses, it’s not just about developing understanding of a challenging program. In our digital age, students need to be part of the solution. They need to help us use technology to lead us to an age of human flourishing rather than one of human crisis.”

New University Course Offers a Technical and Ethical Exploration of Our Data-Centric World, duke today

Faculty Co-Conveners

Robinson O. Everett Distinguished Professor of Law & Philosophy at Duke Law School and the Founding Director of Duke Science & Society
Nita Farahany, Robinson O. Everett Distinguished Professor of Law & Philosophy at Duke Law School and the Founding Director of Duke Science & Society
Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition and in the Department of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical Center, and a faculty member of the Duke Institute of Molecular Physiology
Matthew Hirschey, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition and in the Department of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical Center, and a faculty member of the Duke Institute of Molecular Physiology