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, September 10 and 24, combined with home assignments to be presented on October 22. 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 for 2021: Sept 10, Sept 24, Oct 22 (home assignment). 

Register using this link before September 1. 

Location: Seminar room by the MIT-Place, MIT building at Umeå University, or Zoom.

Schedule for 2021: to be announced.



Day 1: Nov 13 (Location: Zoom)

8.30-8.40     Welcome and introduction

8.40-9.15      Lecture 1: What is AI? (Juan Carlos Nieves)

9.15-10.00    Lecture 2: Real AI is Social AI (Frank Dignum)

10.00-10.30  Coffee

10.30-12.00  Group work – Conflicts and resolution

12.00-13.00  Lunch

13.00-13.45  Lecture 3: What is Responsible AI?  (Andrea Aler Tubella)

13.45-15.00  Group work – Design for values

Day 2: Nov 27 (Location: Zoom)

8.30-9.15      Lecture 4: What is Collaborative AI? (Helena Lindgren)

9.15-10.00    Lecture 5: Explainability (Kary Främling)

10.00-10.30  Coffee

10.30-12.00  Group work – Collaboration and explanation

12.00-13.00  Lunch

13.00-13.45  Lecture 6: Development of Responsible AI (Andreas Theodorou)

13.45-15.00  Group work – Canvas reflection wrap-up

Day 3: Dec 4 (Location: Zoom)

Preliminary 10.30-15.00 Presentations of homework