UTM192H5 AI Ethics


AI Ethics
Special Topics at the Intersection of Science and Humanities

The 0.5 credit from this course can be used toward either your Science (SCI) or Humanities (HUM) distribution requirement.  Offered in the Winter 2023 term (January-April).

This course will examine the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the development of AI ethics. Using interdisciplinary methods that combine the history and philosophy of science and technology with those of the humanities, this course will explore how computer scientists, philosophers, writers, and AI historians describe and imagine the stakes involved in the development of AI. What ethics of AI will be needed to address the many social, political, and economic issues arising from these technologies? 

This course offers students the chance to:

  • Examine how human societies come to be organized by their technological systems.
  • Explore how machinic systems interact with signs, symbols, and meaning-making at a cultural level.
  • Consider new and emerging issues as AI's machinic intelligence becomes ever more intertwined with our own.
  • Reflect on the risks, hopes, and imaginaries informing the long quest for artificial intelligence between scientists, artists, engineers, and philosophers across the last century and up through today.  

This utmONE Scholars first-year seminar is taught by:

Photo of Dr. Slater

 Dr. Avery Slater, Assistant Professor, English / Faculty Affiliate, Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society

We asked Professor Slater what inspires her about the AI Ethics theme and why she is excited to teach this course to first-year students.

AI Ethics as a field is continually changing; with every advance in machine learning new ethical questions also arise. As AI technologies increasingly impact every facet of our lives, the ethics of AI’s use will need to adjust to these new situations. For this reason, thinking in AI ethics can be as imaginative as it is timely, as inspiring as it is consequential for the world we want to build. 

While the difficult questions of AI ethics would seem to be the realm of experts, the act of ethical problem-solving is a fundamentally creative one. Thinking about AI ethics can and should be done at every level and draw from every perspective. First-year students should feel free to bring their creativity and their life experience to bear on these questions. It’s never too early to start changing the future.  

How to Apply to UTM192H5: AI Ethics

Students who receive an email invitation are eligible to apply.  Invitations are sent on a rolling basis starting in April to early June. In the application form, you will have the opportunity to provide application answers for both your first and second choice of utmONE Scholars seminar.  Please be sure to read our FAQ section before applying.

Applications will be open in early-May 2024.