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Artificial Intelligence Ethical and Societal Concerns

How Can Ethics Mediate the Relation Between AI and Society?

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This course is taught in English.


Artificial intelligence is part of our everyday lives. AI is no longer just a research topic: it has an impact on our society as a whole. With this new technology, as with all technologies before, come ethical concerns.
From personal uses to applications in tech companies, making use of AI has consequences. Some of them can be beneficial for humanity, but others might be harmful. Ethics cannot give a clear solution to those limitations, but it will invite us to reflect on our collective and individual responsibilities in developing and using AI.
From the hammer to the so-called killer robots, we will explore the world of the complex relations between ethics and technology. This SPOC will introduce you to one of the main challenges faced by our society.


Upon completion of this SPOC, learners will have:

  • A solid understanding of AI-related ethical concerns.
  • A cross-field and cross-culture perspective on AI ant its ethical assessment.
  • The capacity to relevantly assess AI with appropriate ethical tools and methods.


1. AI, Ethics and Society

This module addresses major concerns regarding the relation between AI, ethics and the society. It tackles questions such as: what model of society do we desire? What can be my role within this model? What role should be granted to AI? What is my responsibility?

2. AI Ethics: A Matter of Culture?

This module deals with the role of culture in the shaping of ethical assessment of AI, and, in return, of ethical assessment in the shaping of culture. It addresses norm entrepreneurs, their goals, their interests, and how we can keep being aware of their role and influence by being critical.

3. Regulating AI Through Ethics

This module assesses normative tools in the field of AI, notably through a multi-level study of codes of ethics, and a case study on the European GDPR.

4. Discovering Ethics

This module aims at providing basic and solid grounds on ethics. It touches upon the different theories of ethics and their limits.

5. Case Study

This module will focus on the specific case of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).

6. AI and Ethics: What Is Next?

This module is dedicated to a prospective opening on the future of AI and related ethical concerns. It mainly consists in debates and discussions.



Each module requires 7 to 10 hours of work (including lectures, quizzes, exams, other pedagogical resources, and exchanges with professors and other learners).


The main teaching materials include teaching video capsules, numerous video supports and a range of textual resources diversified in their degree of analysis and complexity (research but also popularization) as well as in their approach (philosophical, psychological, business, legal, computational) so that all participants can develop a multidimensional point of view, enabling them to grasp the subject in all its complexity as well as to stimulate debate.
The program is also built around group discussions and interactive presentations that provide learners with thought-provoking circuits that can be tailored as closely as possible to their answers in order to boost their attention and stimulate their reflection.


Course Staff Image #1

Dr. Emmanuel R. Goffi

Associate Professor in AI Ethic and Director of International Relations at aivancity School for Technology, Business & Society Paris-Cachan
Director of Observatoire Éthique & IA at Institut Sapiens

Emmanuel is a specialist in political science and éthics, and served in the French air force for 27 years. He holds a PhD in political science with Science Po Paris and works as an associate researcher at Centre for Defence and Security Studies at University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, and as an instructor at Big Data Lab of Goethe-Universität of Frankfurt. He has published many articles and book chapters, including "Les armées françaises face à la morale : une réflexion au cœur des conflits modernes", (Paris : L’Harmattan, 2011).


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