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Algorithmic Ethics

ENGL 2666.401
also offered as: CIMS 2666
MW 5:15-6:44pm

Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence have become ubiquitous in the 21st century. From the movies recommended by Netflix to the advertisements presented on social media and the routes suggested by Google Maps, AI and algorithms can make our lives more convenient. But what about AI that that can earn a B+ on an MBA exam without studying, phones that unlock with facial recognition that doesn’t work smoothly on all skin colors, or autonomous weaponized drones that mistake civilians for targets? As algorithms play an increasing role in various aspects of modern society, addressing their ethical considerations becomes increasingly crucial to ensure their responsible and beneficial use. This course explores the ethical dimensions and implications inherent in algorithms and their associated technologies in a wide variety of contexts. Topics will range from the intricacies of privacy invasion and the mitigation of bias to the establishment of accountability in the use of algorithms in fields such as education, healthcare, finance, criminal justice, employment, environmental issues, urban planning, and weapons of war. We will critically analyze academic research, policy debates, and case studies to develop a nuanced understanding of the ethical considerations surrounding algorithms. Students will engage with cutting-edge scholarship and contribute to ongoing discussions on algorithmic ethics. As part of the course, students will interact with AI and report on their findings.

English Major Requirements
  • Sector 1 Theory and Poetics (AETP)
  • Sector 6 20th & 21st Centuries (AE20)
English Concentration Attributes
  • Theory & Cultural Studies Concentration (AETC)
College Attributes
Additional Attributes