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Learning in this subject is based around the examination of a number of use-cases for AI in the sciences, including such applications as data analytics, modelling, scientific discoveries and therapeutic devices. After conversations covering preliminary material on AI, Ethics, Law and Human Rights, these use-cases will be employed as basis for investigating the issues with particularly relevant themes drawn from the broader thematic domains.
Themes to be covered may include:
- Accountability, Transparency & Explainability
- Beneficence & Non-maleficence
- Fairness & Justice
- Legal Personality
- Regulatory approval
These themes will be applied to various applications of AI in the sciences, which could include for example, therapeutic zoomorphic robots in aged care, surveillance systems to prevent poaching, analysis of data derived from large scale sensor deployment for measuring pedestrian flow, weather modelling, 'lab in a box', and discovery of novel materials.
The subject is suitable for those with either science, quantitative, or legal backgrounds, with pre-class reading required both to promote the richest possible discussions during class contact time, and to address understanding of fundamental concepts for students of various backgrounds.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students will:
- Have an advanced understanding of the ethical and regulatory challenges raised by the design, deployment and evaluation of automated decision-making technologies in both public and private sector contexts;
- Have a sophisticated understanding of established ethical theories relevant to AI and similar digital technologies, and be able to critically examine, analyse and apply ethical perspectives in responding to the development and proposed uses of new digital technologies in scientific and other domains;
- Have the advanced and integrated skills to be an informed and engaged participant in important debates concerning the ethics of utilising digital technologies and the legal rights of those impacted by them;
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the current legal environment with respect to AI, and of possible legal responses to emerging uses of AI ; and
- Have a demonstrated capacity to use the knowledge and skills gained in the subject in a way that demonstrates effective autonomy, judgment, adaptability and responsibility as an expert learner in navigating and resolving the ethical and legal challenges raised by the design, deployment, and evaluation of artificial intelligence systems.
Last updated: 31 January 2024