2023-2024 University Catalog 
    
    Jun 19, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog

FMST 362 - Ethics of AI


Algorithms, a systematic way to perform a task in a finite number of steps, existed long before the computer was invented. In the digital age, algorithms are chains of actions or steps that define how software will perform and react. As such they condition, shape, and transform the daily lives of billions. They help shift political opinions and shape cultural tastes. However, the logic on which algorithmic systems are based and the infrastructures that sustain them are still largely unknown to their users (and, increasingly, to their developers). Students will explore several case studies – from Netflix’s recommendation system to voice assistants – in order to demystify the logic of algorithms and map the understudied ways in which they paradoxically decrease diversity of tastes, opinions, and experiences despite the techno-utopian promise of endless choice. This process of “un-black boxing” will emphasize “the implantation gap” in algorithmic systems and the ways in which they give birth to new systems of control, surveillance, and biopower.

Credits: 1.0
Prerequisites: None
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: Human Thought and Expression
Liberal Arts Practices: Confronting Collective Challenges and The Process of Writing
Core Component: None


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