Dissonance events explore tech-based policy and legal subjects

  • Lori Andrews speaks about Medical Apps at a Dissonance event.
    Lori Andrews speaks at Dissonance: Genetics & Medical Apps—Ethics, Privacy, Law, and Policy (Joel Iverson)

Technology changes at an ever-increasing rate, almost always outstripping policy, privacy, security, and legal considerations. ITS Information Assurance (IA) collaborates with faculty, researchers, students, and external industry experts to create a forum, Dissonance, for public discourse on the tensions surrounding technology, policy, privacy, security, and law. The Dissonance Event Series, co-convened by ITS IA and university faculty, explores these topics through lectures, panels, and discussions throughout the academic year.

Dissonance events, which are free and open to the public, focus on timely topics and serve to increase university-wide multidisciplinary discourse on important technology-based policy and legal subjects. Sol Bermann, U-M executive director of information assurance and chief information security officer, is a co-convener of the Dissonance organizing committee. He said the series takes an intentional, multidisciplinary approach to these complex societal issues by drawing upon the “breadth of all U-M has to offer in faculty (and student) expertise.”

“It is important to continue hosting Dissonance events to foster IA and ITS partnerships with faculty and units, and support the university’s outreach to the public and commitment to informed discourse on pressing matters of the day.”

—Sol Bermann, U-M Executive Director of Information Assurance and CISO

We’re taking a look back at the highlights of the Dissonance series during the 2018-19 academic year. Follow the links to learn more about the individual events.

2018-19 Dissonance highlights

November 9, 2018: Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Learning Health Systems

  • This symposium and workshop focused on use cases and lessons learned from “emerging learning health systems and their enabling technologies.” Special emphasis was placed on trust, systems ethics, and equity. 

November 27, 2018: Catching Fake News

  • A panel discussion of the challenges involved in “the war against digital misinformation and manipulation.”

February 25, 2019: Genetics & Medical Apps Ethics, Privacy, Law, and Policy

  • A panel discussion of the social and ethical implications of genetic and other medical testing, medical apps, and appropriate use of the resulting detailed health data.

April 17, 2019: Understanding the Social Implications of AI

  • Artificial Intelligence is becoming a part of “everyday living.” This panel focused on the responsibility that comes with the power of AI.

Dissonance has also co-sponsored events such as:

Find more information about the Dissonance Event Series on the Safe Computing website and view highlights from Dissonance events on the ITS Twitter account.

Dissonance Series Quick Stats

  • 4 years
  • 20+ sessions
  • Event growth:
    • 5 sessions in 2016-17 academic year
    • 8 sessions in 2018-19 academic year
  • 13 U-M organizations support Dissonance events
  • Over 75 speakers and panelists