Course: ELSEC – Ethical, Legal, Social, Economic and Cultural Aspects on AI

As part of the government-funded national initiative AI Competence for Sweden, Umeå University is developing and giving a course on ethical, legal, social, economic and cultural aspects on AI, corresponding to 2 ECTs. This course is conceived as a two-day interdisciplinary discussion forum about the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems on human behaviour and the related ethical, legal, social, economic and cultural issues (ELSEC), combined with assignments to be conducted besides attending the two days. The course is aimed in its first edition at providing a ground for a continued discussion and development of AI-related contents of education and research at Umeå University across faculties, and at providing a ground for collaboration with industry and public organisations on digital innovation and development that include responsible AI. The course and home assignments will be followed up at a later date in conjunction with an open workshop on AI education and research on the ELSEC-theme.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), both embedded in systems or embodied in artifacts (e.g robots), is increasingly everywhere. It affects everyone, and has the capability to transform public and private organisations and the services and products they offer. Whereas AI has huge potential to make our lives easier, and help us to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, there are increasing concerns about its impact on humans and society. The development and use of AI raises fundamental ethical, legal and economic issues for society, which are of vital importance to our future.

Besides providing an introduction to AI, the topics responsible AI, collaborative AI, social AI, explainability, and AI and design for values will be discussed regarding how these can be approached from ethical, societal and engineering (computational) perspectives.

The course corresponds to 2 ECTs and consists of six lectures and four group work sessions, divided over two days, combined with home assignments. The course is developed by the Department of Computing Science as part of AI Competence for Sweden, and builds partly upon a winter school organized by by Professor Virginia Dignum and the EU-project HUMAINT during Spring 2019. A certificate of attendance will be provided, but no formal credits in this edition of the course.

Dates during 2020: November 13, November 27, December 11 (presentation of homework)

Location: Seminar room by the MIT-Place, MIT building.

Schedule will be posted soon (lectures open to all)