Executive training   Executive MPA  

Ethics and governance of digital technology

5-7 December 2022 | Executive seminar

Innovations in digital technology (DT) – including artificial intelligence (AI) – are transforming economies and societies globally, leading to governance quandaries and political debate. AI in particular has been mistaken for a scientific discovery or natural entity, making it unusually easy to deflect policy discussions about it as fictional concerns. This course seeks to ground social and political considerations in governing DT on a firm basis of science and engineering. We start by examining the science of intelligence itself.  

Intelligence is a physical process with physical constraints following natural laws. These constraints and laws determine not only what can and cannot be expected of digital artefacts including AI, but also how technology more generally impacts the way humans interact and therefore our governance and ethics. After establishing the science and engineering of naturally and artificially intelligent systems, we move on to explore some of the transformations and corresponding policy challenges of DT. Topics include the issues of  fairness and bias, the applicability of standard methods such as transparency and accountability; balances and interactions between regulation and innovation, corporations and governments; the increasing oppressive capacities of state and non-state actors; the effects of DT on human rights and dignity and on national security and economic well-being; as well as transnational and global governance efforts. The course concludes with presentations and a discussion on contemporary policy problems and potential solutions brought in by students from diverse professional backgrounds.

This seminar is offered as part of the Executive MPA programme and in the open enrolment programme.