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Artificial intelligence (AI) and new digital technologies are affecting almost every aspect of modern society. These developments have many beneficial consequences. They have also raised concerns about a host of issues, including their impact on employment, health and safety, interpersonal relationships, human rights, discrimination, bias and choice. The legal and regulatory responses to AI and digital technologies requires both technical expertise, particularly in computer science and engineering, and insights from other disciplines such as sociology, psychology, criminology, history and philosophy.
This subject will discuss the development of legal responses to AI in light of insights from other disciplines and advances in computer science, engineering and information systems.
Topics will include investigating:
- What is AI?
- Inherent technical limitations on current uses of AI
- Current uses of AI in society
- Ethical dimension of the uses of AI, including fairness, bias and potential harms,
- Technical responses, including transparency and explainability
- Legal regulatory regimes, including
- contractual capacity
- legal standing of AI systems
- discrimination and human rights law
- Avenues for review of decisions made by or using AI
- Public and private accountability.
These issues will be considered in the light of case studies, including:
- Uses of AI in the workplace
- AI home assistants
- Autonomous vehicles
- AI and robots in medicine
- AI in media, including social media platforms
- Automated decision-making by governments, courts, police and other public institutions
- Military uses of AI.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed the subject should have:
- Acquired an understanding of the contribution from different fields, including science and the humanities, into the policy and legal questions raised by AI.
- Obtained a general knowledge of the legal issues raised by AI.
- Analysed and applied the legal responses to AI in a range of current contexts.
- Have developed skills to be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field of AI.
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding AI to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed skills in:
- Reading inter-disciplinary material in preparation for class;
- Analysing conceptual and practical human rights problems;
- Using legal norms as the basis for advocacy;
- Writing clearly for assignments; and
- Verbal communication through group discussions in tutorials.
Last updated: 21 January 2020