Fall 2023 Course Descriptions

CS 139-01 Ethics for AI, Robotics, and Human Robot Interaction

M. Scheutz
TR 9:00-10:15, Joyce Cummings Center 402
T+ Block

This course will provide an overview of the ethical problems and challenges prompted by current and future technological advances in AI, robotics, and human-robot interaction. It will start by reviewing the philosophical foundations of the main ethical theories (virtue ethics, deontology, utilitarianism) and link them to different algorithmic approaches in artificial agents (rule-based, utility-based, behavior- based, etc.). Explicating and contrasting the assumptions underlying each algorithmic approach (e.g., policy-based decision-making vs. rule-based reasoning), functional tradeoffs and implications for autonomous robots and AI systems will be discussed. The scope will then be widened to moral psychology and human-robot/human-technology interaction to move beyond individual autonomous systems into the realm of social interactions between humans and autonomous systems, discussing the societal implications of AI and robot technology. Social, economical, legal, and military ramifications will be considered, with the aim of exposing the unique challenges AI and robot technology pose for humanity, compared to other disruptive technologies, but also they unique opportunities these technologies enable for current and future generations.

Prerequisite: Senior standing, or permission of instructor. Recommendations: CS/MATH 61 and CS 15. This is an undergraduate-only course; graduate students in the HRI program will need to enroll in CS 239-01.

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