LC9 Philosophy and Ethics of AI

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LC9 Philosophy and Ethics of AI
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We are glad to announce that 4TU.ethics will organize a new PhD course on the Philosophy and Ethics of AI. The course will take place in Wageningen at 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28 February

Aim / objective

To get a firm understanding of the operational principles, design, and use of AI systems. To become able to understand, articulate, and offer contributions to the philosophy and ethics of contemporary AI.

About the topic

This course focuses on philosophical and ethical issues pertaining to Artificial Intelligence. The course consists of 12 sessions (±150mins) distributed over six days. The first set of sessions will concern technical aspects and operational principles of AI systems. These sessions will be led by experts in the field of computer science, communication studies, and informatics. The second set of sessions concern the large variety of philosophical and ethical issues related to AI. Topics include epistemological issues related to transparency, explainability, and knowledge production; political issues related to (data) ownership, responsibility, and social implications; ecological issues related to energy use and sustainability; and ethical issues related to bias, privacy and value change. Lecturers are experts in the field of philosophy of technology and ethics of AI, and include Prof. Jan Broersen (UU); Prof. Vincent Blok (WUR); Prof. Philip Brey (Utwente); Dr. Vlasta Sikimic (TuE); and Y.J. Erden (Utwente). (see below for a full overview).

Students get a firmly grounded understanding of how AI systems operate in theory and practice, as well as the leading philosophical and ethical perspectives regarding wider implications of such systems. The course focuses on fundamental philosophical and ethical questions surrounding the contemporary discourse on AI. These fundamental issues are discussed in light of current developments in AI and associated research by the lecturers. This includes issues like:

  • The implications of Ai for considerations of (human/non-human/posthuman) intelligence.
  • The idea and meaning of explainability
  • The transformation and reification of values and biases due to the increasing implementation of AI
  • The articulation, reframing, and distribution of responsibility in AI.
  • The technological mediation of the distinction between private and public, particularly in terms of private and public identities.

Besides the theoretical lectures, the course will include a ‘field trip’ to one of the ELSA labs (ethical, legal, and social aspects) in Wageningen to learn and discuss how philosophy and ethics of AI is put to practice.

Structure course

Similar to other PhD courses, this course will be structured around 12 sessions distributed over 6 days. The first set of sessions will be dedicated to the technical aspects of how AI systems actually work, where the lecturers are leading scholars in computer science and information and communication studies. The second set of sessions concern the philosophical and ethical aspects of AI, for instance regarding epistemology, transparency, responsibility, bias, and sustainability. 

You can find the program of the course here.

Primary target group

PhD candidates (alfa, gamma, beta) who study in the fields of general philosophy; philosophy of technology; ethics of technology; philosophy of science. PhD candidates from computer science and AI (or related fields) with a demonstrable interest and/or background in philosophy and ethics. Students from universities outside the Netherlands are encouraged to register for the course as well.


Required preparations

Participants are expected to read all the assigned literature, to complete assignments, and to actively participate in the discussions. Students will complete the course with a final written assignment, where they link their own research to one or more of the discussed topics.

Assignment

Students are expected to write a 4-5 page research proposal that combines their own research projects with at least two of the themes discussed during the course. Students with existing proposals can modify them accordingly. The format and formal requirements will be distributed separately.

Attendance 

It is obligatory to attend all sessions of the course. In exceptional cases, one session can be skipped.

Certificate / credit points

For this course participants can earn a certificate after successful completion. Please note, however, that the OZSW is not accredited to reward students with credits/ECTS directly. The study load is mentioned on the certificate, which can usually be exchanged for ‘real’ credits (ECTS) at your home university.

The study load for this activity is: 5EC.

Application/registration deadline

The deadline for registration is January 21, 2024.

Costs

– Free to PhD candidates who are a member of the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology and/or OZSW and/or LOGOS;
– Free to Research Master students who are a member of the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology and/or OZSW and/or LOGOS;

All others pay a tuition fee of 300 euros.

Cancellation and registration policy

https://www.ozsw.nl/policies-and-guidelines/

How to apply / register

Please click here to register for the course. The deadline for registration is January 21st – 2024.  NOTE: If you are not a member of the OZSW or of the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology or of LOGOS, please send an email instead to assistant.director@ozsw.nl to be put on the waiting list.

In case of too many applications, the coordinator of the course will make a selection. In case of too little applications, the course will be cancelled. In case of cancellation, the OZSW will inform participants at least one week in advance. The OZSW is not responsible for any (accommodation) costs that students may have made in preparation for the course.

If registration has been closed because the maximum amount of participants has been reached, you can submit your name to the waiting list by sending an email to assistant.director@ozsw.nl. Please also indicate whether you are a ReMa student or PhD candidate and whether you are a member of the OZSW or not.

Organizers

Dr. Jochem Zwier (jochem.zwier@wur.nl) – Wageningen University
Prof. Dr. Vincent Blok (vincent.blok@wur.nl) – Wageningen University & Research

More information

For further information related to the contents of this course, please contact the coordinator Jochem Zwier jochem.zwier@wur.nl. For practical inquiries, please contact secretariaat@ozsw.nl.