Ethics in the  Age of AI


This course is designed for those working in technology, investment, education or public policy, who need to understand quickly but also think deeply about the rapidly changing landscape of AI+ technologies.  

The course is taught from a non-technical, but is well researched and supported by real-world case studies. It offers new, blended learning for those coming from a wide range of fields.

Module I will lay the groundwork in three key areas:

  • Defining AI+ technologies 
  • Understanding context in today’s society
  • The ethical issues we need to confront 

We will focus first on defining and labelling the technologies that comprise AI+, seeking to breakdown terms like AI into their component parts. 

For example, we will look at the boundaries between artificial and augmented intelligence; and between machine learning and deep learning, and so on. 

We will then explore the possible ethical implications once we put these various technologies in context, such as privacy, autonomy, transparency etc.  We will try to identify the possible ethical concerns and risks. 

For example, what are the implications of AI + Big Data + Sensors + People Analytics, rather than seeing them in isolation. 

AI+ technologies requires the development of an ethical approach, or methodology, that avoids simply lapsing into lists of “codes of conduct”. 

The Module will look more deeply at how ethics can be used in professional and technical decision-making and in public oversight. 

A range of different ethical approaches will be considered. 

The module will look at practical examples of where the meaning of these technologies can be illustrated:

  • Self-driving Cars 
  • Facial recognition
  • Airline safety
  • Micro-targeting 

Given that only 1-8 Europeans*  are currently in any form of educational or training programme, how are we going to adapt as a society?

What can we do personally to develop ourselves and our careers in an era where jobs will disappear or be fundamentally reshaped? 

We will look at a learning model which seeks to address this question. At the heart of the model, is our ability to grow as digital citizens, able to identify and manage new ethical boundaries being created in the digital age. 

*EU Commission JRC report 24.09.19

Learning outcomes:
  • Understanding of the emerging technological landscape
  • Awareness of the ethical issues arising across many industries
  • The opportunity to develop a personal strategy for growth and change in the digital era