Technology Ethics and the Role of Government

While artificial intelligence can vastly expand our access to knowledge, it has also been known to proliferate bias. The internet of things brings convenience to our every day lives, but raises issues around privacy. Virtual reality can educate us through emersion but can also be addictive. In the face of this reality, it may be tempting to simply avoid new technology to circumvent ethical issues.

Darcie Piechowski

Darcie Piechowski is the Social Media & Innovation Fellow for the Center for the Business of Government. In this role, Ms. Piechowski looks to explore the inventive ways governmental organizations serve citizens through their use of collaborative platforms and technology.

2018 Digital Trends Impacting Government

Citizen expectations of government evolve as they utilize these new tools with the private sector and in their daily lives, requiring government organizations to not only understand these new tools, but to know when and how best to implement them to further their mission. As we begin a new year, let’s explore four technology trends that are currently impacting citizen engagement and digital communications including live video, immersive tools, bots, and wearables.

Trend 1: Live video

Beyond Facebook and Twitter – How Government Organizations Leverage Other Social Platforms Effectively

As detailed in last week’s announcement from Center for The Business of Government Executive Director, Dan Chenok, I am happy to be starting my work with the Center as Innovation and Social Media Fellow. I plan to explore innovation, social media, and the intersection of the two as government’s look to better achieve their missions and serve the public. As I delve deeper into these issues, I expect to explore further topics worth discussing and encourage broad dialogue as part of that discussion.

The Impact of Government Shutdowns on Innovation

Much has been written about the cost of these budget uncertainties, particularly around lost labor hours (6.6 million furloughed days as a result of the 2013 shutdown) and the economic impact to both the public and private sectors through lowered job creation, reduced output, and other costs. For example, Philip Joyce’s report, The Costs of Budget Uncertainty, gives both a historical context to past shutdowns and CRs and what impact these have had. Worth consideration, though, is not just the tangible costs of budget uncertainty, but the impact to the intangibles such as innovation.

Embracing & Managing Negative Feedback

While the government recognizes the importance of obtaining public feedback and is beginning to encourage more feedback on their everyday services, the potential for criticism can be a barrier to adopting those feedback tools. Still, organizations like the US Department of State, TSA, and the State of Georgia are overcoming those barriers in order to reap the benefits of feedback. The ability to convert feedback into action is dependent on the integrity of it.

Making Innovation Labs Work

The White House recently released its final iteration of the Strategy for American Innovation – a set of policies and initiatives aiming to drive innovation and economic growth.  Among the suggested initiatives, Innovation Labs are slated to receive additional funding in the 2016 budget.  While Innovation Labs have the potential to create significant improvements for government, they have also received criticism for not meeting their goals.

Innovative Methods Reshaping Government Recruitment

Traditional recruitment methods, such as websites and online applications, are no longer sufficient. Government agencies have to adapt to new recruitment methods to keep pace with these changes and build their future workforce.

Is Social Media Analytics the Answer to All Your Questions?

ta is there. , but the interpretation can be more complex. The December attack in San Bernardino prompted people to ask whether or not the government should be more active in using social media data to prevent such things from happening again. Certainly, social data can be highly valuable, but it has its limitations, and agencies must be aware of how best to use it. Determining sentiment – It is very useful to understand how citizens feel about certain issues such as a new a policy. Many programs will try to determine sentiment by categorizing certain words as positive or negative.

Staying Social in the Face of Social Media Scrutiny

This ruling cites applicable regulations in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2015. Rulings like this can both clarify some issues and raise new questions about social media usage in government. Those questions may discourage organizations from deepening their social presence. However, as social media remains an essential form of communication with citizens, that would only serve as a detriment to those agencies and the people they are trying to reach.


Social Media & Innovation Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Darcie Piechowski is the Social Media & Innovation Fellow for the Center for the Business of Government. In this role, Ms. Piechowski looks to explore the inventive ways governmental organizations serve citizens through their use of collaborative platforms and technology.

A Communications & Strategy Manager for IBM’s Public Sector, Ms. Piechowski is responsible for developing and executing innovative initiatives aimed at improving the culture and performance of the organization and its 4,000 consultants and IT specialists. Over the last five years, Ms. Piechowski has also led an executive eminence program through which she helps executives improve their digital eminence through social media and other activities. Prior to her current role, Ms. Piechowski assisted public sector clients in achieving their missions as a consultant with expertise in analytics, business development, and marketing.

Ms. Piechowski received her degree in Business Administration from American University in Washington, DC.

You can connect with Darcie on Twitter or on LinkedIn.