- Course: AI for Society
- Programme: Bachelor's in Artificial Intelligence
- Group size: 25 students
- Study load: 6 EC
- Year: third-year Bachelor's students
Teachers Tobias Blanke and Giovanni Colavizza received a grant to set up project-based flipped classrooms in a new course ‘AI for Society’, taught for the first time in 2021. The aim is to introduce students to compelling research questions from the social and human sciences, on the development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. On average, AI students are well-versed in the theory and practice of developing a solution to a task, or a data analysis. However, they are less well-versed in contextualising and criticising their results in view of their cultural and social implications.
Every week consists of a 2-hour during lecture in which a certain issue is introduced and a 4-hour during interactive laboratory. After their lecture, students individually do preparatory work including readings and a technical assignment on a proposed case study, whereas during laboratories students work in groups to critically engage with the contextual and critical assessment of the AI system or data analysis they previously conducted. This approach requires students to step outside of their comfort zone by casting a critical view on their own (mostly implicit) assumptions and results. To help students reflect on what they had done, the teachers provide a set of critical questions. In conclusion of each assignment, the students write a report and hand-in their code as well. As a final piece of graded work, each student individually works on an essay on a topic of choice, proposed as a means to delve deeper on the literature and critically engage with it.
We aimed for the students to start developing an actionable awareness for the cultural and social implications of Artificial Intelligence processes, which will carry over their future studies and careers.Tobias Blanke