Join us Feb. 24 to examine how AI helps, hurts democracy

Civic Nebraska is bringing together researchers, policymakers, advocates, and everyday Nebraskans to discuss minimizing AI’s disruptive effects while maximizing its positive democratic potential.


Advancements in artificial intelligence, or AI, raise the likely transformation of our democratic systems. AI-driven tools may potentially help in election administration, but AI’s vast power to rapidly synthesize, regenerate, and spread content in the form of disinformation risks new dangers to democracy, including election integrity.

On Feb. 24, Civic Nebraska will bring together researchers, policymakers, advocates, and everyday Nebraskans to discuss minimizing AI’s disruptive effects while maximizing its positive democratic potential. The inaugural AI & Democracy Community Summit will take place from 10 am to noon at Andersen Hall, home of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“AI’s potential for progress through efficiency and innovation is exciting. But left unchecked, its can be used to threaten the fabric of fair, modern democracy,” said Adam Morfeld, executive director of Civic Nebraska. “Citizens must be vigilant and embrace ethical AI practices to harness its potential, protect personal privacy, and safeguard our democratic systems and way of life.”

The two-hour Summit will include a panel that includes:

›› Gina Ligon, director of the National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha. The Center innovates, educates, and creates prevention strategies while building workforce pipelines in the fields of STEM and homeland security.

›› Bryan Wang, associate professor of public relations at Nebraska. Wang, an instructor at the university since 2012, specializes in strategic communication, new media, and quantitative research methodology. 

›› Brian W. Kruse, election commissioner for Douglas County. Kruse, who oversees elections in our state’s largest county, has served as Douglas County election commissioner since 2016. Recently, he was appointed to a third term by Gov. Jim Pillen.

›› Matt Waite, professor of practice of journalism at Nebraska. A Pulitzer Prize recipient, Waite’s emphasis is on education and research at the intersection of reporting and the development of new digital platforms.

From left: Gina Ligon, Matt Waite, Brian W. Kruse, Bryan Wang

The Summit will conclude with a guided small-group discussion intended to expand understanding of AI, examine best practices, and consider appropriate guardrails in response to existing and future artificial intelligence technologies.

The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. To RSVP and to learn more, please tap here.

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