PARIS and WASHINGTON, D.C. – The McCourt Institute, which was established to advance technology for the common good with founding partners Sciences Po in Paris and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., today announced the 2022 recipients of research grants to advance ethical technology and digital governance. The awardees and their projects were announced during the McCourt Institute’s inaugural event today in Paris.
“The McCourt Institute is thrilled to work with two world-class academic communities to better understand the problems that current technologies have caused and exacerbated and, more importantly, move us closer to the solutions we need,” said Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson, Inaugural Executive Director of the McCourt Institute.
The McCourt Institute has pledged to provide $50 million over 10 years to Sciences Po and Georgetown University to support the development of new scientific work and advance research on technology for the common good. Beginning with the 2022 recipients, funded projects will be selected annually and administered directly by Georgetown University and Sciences Po.
“There is almost no civic challenge–or solution–in which technology does not play a role,” said Maria Cancian, Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. “Georgetown is committed to shaping ethical, equitable, and inclusive technologies that advance the common good. Our collaboration with Sciences Po and the McCourt Institute will help build on strengths in law, computer science, public policy, and ethics to tackle pressing issues at the intersection of technology and civil society.”
“The selected projects address important questions about the impact of digital technologies on the public and private spheres,” said Guillaume Plantin, Dean of Research and Faculty at Sciences Po. “This support from the McCourt Institute will enable Sciences Po’s research teams to reinforce, and even extend, their work on essential topics such as the implementation of fact-checking mechanisms based on empirical evidence in order to fight against disinformation in online political debates, or the development of a robust legal framework adapted to the use of artificial intelligence for commercial or political purposes. Researchers will put these issues into perspective as they consider a more responsible, equitable and democratic digital governance.”
A steering committee representing Georgetown University faculty, Sciences Po faculty, and the McCourt Institute selected 17 projects, to be conducted by 28 researchers from Georgetown’s and Sciences Po’s academic communities. The projects will focus on the impact of technology on individuals and society and explore new governance models, regulatory frameworks and technologies to mitigate harm and advance the common good. Detailed descriptions of each grant project can be found here.
As these research projects are finalized, the McCourt Institute will work with Georgetown University and Sciences Po and the grantees to make their findings available to the public in a variety of formats.