7-9 December 2020 | Executive seminar
Innovations in digital technology including Artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming economies and societies globally, leading to governance quandaries and political debates. AI is unusual for a novel technology, because leaders and ordinary citizens alike bring preconceptions derived from fiction and popular understanding, complicating focus on science-led policy, but many of the impacts attributed to AI are features of digital technology and transnational business more broadly.
This course explores the transformations and corresponding policy challenges of digital technology, focussing on active areas of political debate and policy research. Integrating perspectives from both natural and social sciences, this course provides an examination on individual, social, and national impacts of digital technology. Beginning with a brief exploration of the proliferation of algorithmic decision-making and autonomous systems, we focus primarily on social issues of economics, ethics, justice, transparency, accountability, and security raised by the use of digital technology and AI, including machine learning. We discuss and debate urgent topical questions such as whether regulation and innovation necessarily trade off? Are the effects of AI on human rights and human liberty primarily negative or positive, and where they are negative, are the risks acceptable? Are there ways to offset the increasing oppressive capabilities of state- and non-state actors? We consider both public and private strategies of regulation, and local, national, and transnational aspects of digital governance.