Introduction to the Ethics of AI 2024

Lecture, University of Osnabrück, Summer Term 2024, Prof. Dr. Rainer Mühlhoff

Navigation: This is the currently ongoing, therefore still incomplete, 2024 version of this lecture. If you are interested in the full lecture, please refer to the most recent completed version, which is from the Winter Term 2022/23.

Recorded Sessions

To watch the videos, you will be asked for a login:
username = lecture, and the password is et.hi.cs.ofai without the dots.

Session 1, 8 April 2024

Introduction & Human-Aided AI

watch (password see below)

Session 2, 15 April 2024

Ethics 101

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Session 3, 22 April 2024

Power I

watch (password see below)

Session 4, 29 April 2024

Power II

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Session 5, 06 May 2024

Bias & Discrimination, Part I

watch (password see below)

Session 6, 13 May 2024

Bias & Discrimination, Part II

watch (password see below)

Session 7, 20 May 2024

Responsibility & Explainability

watch (password see below)

Session 8, 27 May 2024

AI Paternalism

watch (password see below)

Session 9, 3 June 2024

Data Protection 1

watch (password see below)

Session 10, 12 June 2024

EU Digital Legislation

watch (password see below)

Session 11, 17 June 2024

AI and Data Protection

watch (password see below)

To watch the videos, you will be asked for a login:
username = lecture, and the password is et.hi.cs.ofai without the dots.


Program

Session Date Lecture Topic Discussion Groups
1 08.04. Introduction / Human-Aided AI Videos:
1) “Human Computation”, Google Tech Talk by Luis von Ahn, 2006. YouTube
2) “Artificial Intelligence is the New Electricity”, Stanford Talk by Andrew Ng, 2017. YouTube
Coeckelbergh, Mark. 2020. AI Ethics. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Chapters 1–2.
2 15.04. Ethics 101 Dignum, Reponsible AI, Chapter 3.
3 22.04. Power I Sattarov, Faridun. 2019. Power and Technology: A Philosophical and Ethical Analysis. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
optional: Netzpolitik, 2021-11-17. “Why chat control is so dangerous.” https://edri.org/our-work/why-chat-control-is-so-dangerous/
4 29.04. Power II Walls, Fiona. 2009. Mathematical Subjects: Children Talk about Their Mathematics Lives. Dordrecht/ ; New York: Springer, pp. 3–16.
5 06.05. Bias & Discrimination I Friedman, Batya, and Helen Nissenbaum. 1996. “Bias in computer systems.” ACM Transactions on Information Systems 14(3).
6 13.05. Bias & Discrimination II Videos: Joy Buolamwini and Kimberle Crenshaw
7 (20.05.) public holiday / video only Responsibility & Explainability Coeckelbergh, Mark. „Artificial intelligence, responsibility attribution, and a relational justification of explainability“. Science and Engineering Ethics 26(4), 2020: 2051–68.
8 27.05. AI Paternalism Lacey, Cherie, and Catherine Caudwell. 2019. Cuteness as a Dark Pattern in Home Robots. In 2019 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 374 81. IEEE.
9 03.06. Data Protection I Steeves, Valerie. 2015. Privacy, Sociality and the Failure of Regulation: Lessons Learned from Young Canadians Online Experiences. In Social Dimensions of Privacy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Beate Roessler and Dorota Mokrosinska, 244 77. New York: Cambridge University Press.
10 10.06. EU digital legislation Ruschemeier, Hannah. 2023. “AI as a Challenge for Legal Regulation – the Scope of Application of the Artificial Intelligence Act Proposal.” ERA Forum 23 (3): 361–76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12027-022-00725-6.
11 17.06. AI and Data Protection Mühlhoff, Rainer. 2021. Predictive Privacy: Towards an Applied Ethics of Data Analytics. Ethics and Information Technology 23: 675 90. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-021-09606-x.tba
12 24.06. Differential Privacy + Q&A No reading, discussion groups on exam Q&A.
13 01.07. Written exam / Klausur no reading, no discussion groups.

General course description and information

Access

The lecture can be accessed in three formats:

  • On site: Mondays 16:15–17:45 CEST, starting 8 April 2024, room 15/128 (address: Seminarstraße 20, Osnabrück).
  • Live stream in Zoom: Mondays 15:15–17:45 CEST [Zoom-Link]
  • Asynchronous participation via video recordings, see below. I strive to make the recordings available by Tuesdays every week.

The lecture is public. Everybody can participate, although some additional functionality such as access to the weekly readings through Stud.IP and the weekly discussion groups are exclusive to registered students.

Course Description

This philosophical lecture provides an introduction to the emerging field of the Ethics and Critical Theories of AI. It is open to all interested students of all levels, including those from the humanities, as well as scientific and technical disciplines.

The lecture is an ideal starting point to get an orientation in the field and to possibly start engaging with more specialized courses and/or research projects in the context of the Ethics and Critical Theories of AI group at the Institute for Cognitive Science. The lecture will provide an overview of relevant problems, philosophical theories and critical methods. This includes both the philosophical foundations of ethics, critical theory and some aspects of social philosophy (such as power and social structures) as well as different technological phenomena and legal aspects of AI. A particular focus will be contemporary data-driven and machine learning-based AI technology and its applications in digital consumer media. As we will see, questions of social equality and fairness are central to today’s ethical concerns about AI, so that ethics needs to adopt a societal perspective, analyzing constellations of power, subjectivation, discrimination and subordination that relate to AI technology. Ethics will be framed in relation to intersectional critical philosophy, feminist and post-colonial theories. We will also touch upon relevant legal debates such as privacy and data protection legislation and AI regulation.

Discussion groups

The class is offered as a lecture with discussion groups (Vorlesung mit Übung). To earn ECTS points, students will have to participate in the 2 hr/week lecture and in a 2 hr/week discussion group. You will then get 6 ECTS points.

Please find the list of available discussion groups here.

Video/audio homework

Students who would like to obtain ECTS points for the discussion groups need to hand in a video or audio podcast once during the semester.

Please find details, advice & FAQ on video/audio homework here.

Grading and ECTS Points

Discussion groups

The class is offered as a lecture with discussion groups (Vorlesung mit Übung). To earn ECTS points, students will have to participate in the 2 hr/week lecture and in a 2 hr/week discussion group. You will then get 8 ECTS points.

Video/audio homework

Students who would like to obtain ECTS points for the lecture need to hand in a video or audio podcast to their discussion group once during the semester.

Exam (Klausur)

Students who would like to obtain ECTS points for the lecture (including Erasmus students) need to pass the final exam.

Date: Mon., 1 Jul. 2024, 16–18, room 15/128

Closed book exam on paper on site in the lecture hall; mostly multiple choice questions; no electronic devices allowed.