What is this course about?
Artificial intelligence is an extraordinarily exciting and fast-moving field with huge implications for human society. In this course we are going to step back from the buzz a bit, think about what is going on, and discuss what risks as well as benefits this new technology may bring. We will reflect on some of the discussions these new technologies have sparked and explore the general philosophical themes underpinning them.
We will examine the role of deliberation and emotions in moral judgments and touch upon the issue of free will and moral responsibility. We will explore how we tend to think of ourselves as moral agents, what light recent psychological research has shed on this self-conception and what the implications of these insights are for our understanding of moral responsibility. We will also examine how we relate to the artificial intelligence already surrounding us and draw on works of literature and film to explore what human-machine relationships reveal about our moral judgments, our emotional reactions to machines and our relations with them.
At the end of these seminars you will be familiar with some of the theories moral philosophers have used to talk about morality, some of the contemporary discussions on our ability to judge in an impartial and morally intelligent way and the idea that we are autonomous, self-reflecting agents. You will also be familiar with some early texts on human-machine relationships and able to critically discuss those texts and use them to reflect on current developments in AI.
In view of the move to an online environment many details about examination are currently still being finetuned. These will be communicated via Canvas a.s.a.p. Do expect a requirement to participate actively from the start of the course with assignments that count towards your final grade. Also expect some of these assignments to be group assignments.
In view of the move to an online environment many details about the organization of the course are currently still being finetuned. These will be communicated via Canvas a.s.a.p. Do expect seminars, online or offline, that require an active attitude and substantial preparation beforehand.
Required & recommended literature:
Will be announced through Canvas, well in advance of the course.