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AI, Culture And Society

Key information

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Module description

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now widely used, usually in the form of machine learning, in a broad range of applications including finance, healthcare, law and social care, as well as playing a role in the Arts and Humanities as a tool to explore culture. This module introduces students to the issues raised by the development and deployment of AI. The content focuses on providing information and raising debate about the known and predicted effects of artificial intelligence on culture and society.

This module will begin by charting the rise of algorithmic decision making. Students will explore the main technical concepts and evaluate applications of AI in different fields. Students will then examine the implications of AI on culture and society, including issues around privacy and security, bias in data sets, and representation of the individual. From this base, the module will reflect on the challenges of AI governance and the tensions between innovation and regulation, and students will work towards a systematic understanding of how current government policy – both national and international – aims to direct future development. 

Assessment details

1000 word practical research project (20%), 3000 word report (80%) 

Educational aims & objectives

  • To provide a systematic understanding of the concepts and methods around artificial intelligence.
  • To identify the social and cultural implications of the widespread use of artificial intelligence, both now and in the future.
  • To explain current governance, policy and legislation around the use of artificial intelligence. 

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

  • Identify the social and cultural implications of artificial intelligence and its applications.
  • Critically evaluate the application of artificial intelligence techniques to real world problems.
  • Discuss, interpret and critique regulation and accountability of artificial intelligence in a number of domains.

Teaching pattern

Lectures and ten one-hour seminars

Suggested reading list

Fry, H. (2018) Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine, Doubleday.

Module description disclaimer

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Please note that the module descriptions above are related to the current academic year and are subject to change.