851-0174-00L  Rebooting AI: Human and Social Aspects of Artificial Intelligence

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersJ. L. Gastaldi, O. Del Fabbro, A. Nardo, D. Trninic
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentSuitable only for MA and PhD students


851-0174-00 GRebooting AI: Human and Social Aspects of Artificial Intelligence
Unregelmässige Lehrveranstaltung
30s hrs
Wed16-18HG G 26.3 »
Thu18-20HG G 26.3 »
J. L. Gastaldi, O. Del Fabbro, A. Nardo, D. Trninic

Catalogue data

AbstractSeveral researchers from the humanities will propose a critical yet not partisan approach to AI, aiming at elaborating a common perspective on this phenomenon. Sessions will delve into aspects of the way in which AI challenges our understanding of the human, such as “Knowledge”, “Learning”, “Language”, “Freedom” or “Justice”.
ObjectiveDuring the course, students will be able to:
-Discuss relevant aspects of the impact of AI in human and social life
-Obtain theoretical and methodological tools for critically assessing the place of technology in society
-Develop a critical understanding of the conceptual grounds of AI
-Acquire a general perspective on the different fields and points of views in the humanities
-Engage in collaborative work with researchers in the humanities
ContentThe last decades have witnessed a remarkable development in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Although mainly technical feat, such advances have decisive consequences in a wide variety of aspects of human and social life. Even more, AI is challenging in multiple ways our very understanding of what is to be a human. However, despite the significance of the transformations at stake, the perspectives of the humanities -traditionally established as a valid source of critical inquiry into human matters- are generally relegated to a secondary role in the development of AI.

In this seminar, several researchers from the humanities will propose a critical yet not partisan approach to AI, aiming at elaborating a common perspective which could be taken as a legitimate interlocutor in the debates arising around the current stakes of technology in our society. The seminar will take the form of presentations based on critical readings of chosen texts, followed by group discussions. Each session will delve into one aspect of the way in which AI challenges our understanding of the human, such as “Knowledge”, “Learning”, “Language”, “Freedom” or “Justice”, confronting how they are dealt with in state-of-the-art texts in AI and relevant works in the humanities.

We expect students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and other fields outside the humanities to actively contribute to a collective construction, which could lead to further collaboration within but also outside this course.

As part of the Turing Centre, this seminar intends to sow the seed of a suitable and long-term environment for the exchange of ideas between multiple fields in the natural sciences and the humanities.

The seminar will be conducted by Olivier Del Frabbro, Juan Luis Gastaldi, Aline Nardo, Vanessa Rampton and Dragan Trninic.
Prerequisites / NoticeSuitable only for MA and PhD students

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersJ. L. Gastaldi, O. Del Fabbro, A. Nardo, D. Trninic
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationFor each session (taking place every two weeks), students will be required to read two texts of around 15 pages each. The final grade will be based on an essay about topics covered in the seminar. Presence in class is expected, and active contribution to class discussions and even to the preparation of specific sessions may be rewarded in the final grade.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places25 at the most
Waiting listuntil 12.03.2021

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