|Description||CISC 849 -- Ethical Issues in Robotics and AI
Office: Smith 446
Office hours: Mondays 10 am to noon
|Schedule||Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 pm to 3:15 pm in Smith Hall 102A|
For the presentation, each student will choose a real or hypothetical case/topic involving robotics/AI ethics issues. In 15-20 minutes, you will orally deliver a summary of the topic, outline the ethical issues and stakeholders, and ask the class several questions designed to initiate discussion. Visual aids (i.e., slides) are not required, but may be used for clarity. Presentation subjects must not be too similar to topics already in the syllabus, so you must get instructor approval after choosing a presentation date.
The project will involve a written and presentation component. Similar to the presentation, you will pick a topic (with instructor permission) to summarize and analyze. In fact, if you choose you may use the same topic as your presentation. However, here slides will be required, and you will also be asked to propose a technical "solution" that mitigates one or more ethical concerns related to the topic. The design and justification of this "solution" will constitute the bulk of the deliverables for the project.
All homework artifacts (papers, slides) must be submitted via e-mail to the instructor by midnight of the deadline day (with a grace period of a few hours afterward).
Students can discuss problems with one another in general terms, but must work independently on all assignments except the final project. This also applies to online and printed resources: you may consult them as references (as long as you cite them), but the words you turn in must be yours alone. Any quoting must be clear and appropriately cited--plagiarism in any form will not be tolerated. The University's policies on academic dishonesty are set forth in the student code of conduct here.
For the overall course grade, a preliminary absolute mark will be assigned to each student based on the percentage of the total possible points they earn according to the standard formula: A = 90-100, B = 80-90, C = 70-80, etc., with +'s and -'s given for the upper and lower third of each range, respectively. Based on the distribution of preliminary grades for all students (i.e., "the curve"), the instructor may increase these grades monotonically to calculate final grades. This means that your final grade can't be lower than your preliminary grade, and your final grade won't be higher than that of anyone who had a higher preliminary grade.
I will try to keep you informed about your standing throughout the semester. If you have any questions about grading or expectations at any time, please feel free to ask me.
Note: The blue squares in the "#" column below indicate Tuesdays.
|1||Aug. 28||Introduction||Course overview; brief history of robotics/AI||slides|
|2||Aug. 30||State of the art||Brief survey of current projects in robotics, AI, and machine learning||
|3||Sep. 4||Finish Aug. 30 slides; Ethics basics||Moral tests, morality in animals, metaethics||
||Sample MST scenarios|
|4||Sep. 6||Ethics basics||Overview of normative, applied ethics||
|Professional issues||"3 Laws", codes of ethics|
|6||Sep. 13||Professional issues||Product reliability (including safety, security), liability|
|7||Sep. 18||Factory bots and knowledge workers||Labor, impacts (surgical, news/law, ...)||
|8||Sep. 20||Driverless cars||History, technology||
|9||Sep. 25||Driverless cars||Impacts (labor/liability, lifestyle, environmental)||
|10||Sep. 27||Surveillance/image and text analysis||
|11||Oct. 2||Drones and lethal autonomous weapons (LAWs)||
|12||Oct. 4||Caregiving||Medicine, education, childcare/eldercare||
|13||Oct. 9||NO CLASS
|14||Oct. 11||Games/sports||Chess/go, BattleBots, drone racing||
||Analytical paper due|
|15||Oct. 16||Art||Music composition, painting, writing||
|16||Oct. 18||Social||Chatbots, friendship, love?||
|Rights of robots||Legal standing, moral object vs. moral agent||
|18||Oct. 25||Caregiving (fictional)||"Robot & Frank" (1:25) -- first 75 minutes|
|19||Oct. 30||Student presentations||* Finish "Robot & Frank"||Rachel, Sanhu|
|20||Nov. 1||Student presentations||Michael, Rommy, Bilin, Jianwei|
|Nov. 6||NO CLASS
|21||Nov. 8||Student presentations||Ahmad, Yan-Ming, Zhang, Daniel|
|22||Nov. 13||Student presentations||Yang, Zhou, Tianye, Ni||Project proposal due|
|Nov. 20||NO CLASS
|Nov. 22||NO CLASS
|24||Nov. 27||"Ex Machina" (1:50) part 1|
|26||Dec. 4||Project presentations; finish "Be Right Back"||
|27||Dec. 6||Project presentations||
|NO FINAL EXAM|