Innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming economies and societies globally, leading to governance quandaries and political debates. AI is unusual for a transformative technology, in that many and perhaps all leaders and ordinary citizens alike come to it with preconceptions derived from fiction and popular understanding, which makes it unusually easy for policy to be deflected from a scientific basis. This course explores the transformations and corresponding policy challenges of AI, with a focus on active areas of political debate and policy research. Integrating perspectives from both natural and social sciences, this course will provide learning experiences that examine the impact of AI on individual humans and their societies. We will explore the proliferation of algorithmic decision-making and autonomous systems; the issues of ethics, fairness, transparency and accountability raised by AI techniques such as machine learning; balances and interactions between regulation and innovation; the effects of AI on human rights and economic well being; increasing oppressive capabilities of state and non-state actors; the global AI arms race, and the impacts of AI in the global arms race.
We consider both public and private strategies of regulation and local, national and transnational aspects of governance. In this course, students will be introduced to a wide range of current debates concerning the role of artificial intelligence in society and learn to write policy documents covering and evaluating the diverse perspectives on this technology. We will also explore the international policy, governance and regulatory landscape around AI.