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KINT 7705 - Social and Economic Challenges of Artificial Intelligence

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

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This course is open to graduate students from any Sciences Po graduate school or department, and to qualified undergraduates with the permission of the instructor; diversity of backgrounds and interests enriches the course. Training in economics or engineering is not a requirement. Auditors will be admitted as space allows.

Course Description

Based on a mix of lectures and group discussions, this course will equip students with a foundational understanding of the dynamics of the rise of Artificial Intelligence and its consequences, as well as how they need to be governed to maximize benefits, minimize risks and ensure that the benefits reach everyone. If the definitional boundaries of Artificial Intelligence (AI) remains contested, experts agree that we are witnessing a global revolution. “Is this time different?” is the question that they worryingly argue over when they analyze the socio-economic impact of the AI revolution as compared with the three previous industrial revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Like before, this Schumpeterian wave may prove to be a creative destruction raising incomes, enhancing quality of life for all and generating previously unimagined jobs to replace those that get automatized. Or for the first time it may turn out to be a destructive creation leading to mass unemployment, abuses, or loss of control over decision-making processes. This depends on the velocity and magnitude of the development and diffusion of AI technologies, a complex question over which experts diverge widely. Moreover, societies' abilities to shape the AI revolution into a “creative destruction” and diffuse its benefits to all will mostly depend on how societies react, both individually and collectively. Throughout the duration of the course, we'll see that technology is certainly not destiny, and that policy as well as institutional choices will matter greatly. We'll explore the benefits expected from the AI revolution: a wave of productivity gains with the potential to sustain growth and development over the next decades, counterbalancing the decreasing working-age population; enhanced quality of life for all, through revolutions in healthcare, transportation, education, security, justice, agriculture, retail, commerce, finance, insurance and banking, as well as other domains. We'll then explore how making the AI revolution work for everyone will require the reform and the potential reinvention of social security, redistribution mechanisms, as well as education, training and skill development systems, to allow for repeated and viable professional transitions. We'll also discuss the re-balancing of policy and regulatory frameworks needed to protect the most vulnerable from socio-economic exclusion, to prevent algorithmic discrimination and privacy abuses, to ensure control and accountability, as well as to avoid an exacerbation of wealth and opportunity inequalities. Finally, the course will also discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the need for a more active international coordination to harmonize regulation, value-systems and to ethically align design principles of AI systems. Analyzing AI as a matter of power and sovereignty, the course will also discuss the tension between the need for scale and excessive power concentration tendencies, and explore possible solutions rein-in adverse competition dynamics



Pedagogical format

Students are expected to: 1) attend all classes; 2) be on time; 3) refrain from using their laptops and cell phones in class (except when useful for discussion); 4) submit assignments on time; 5) be respectful of each other and of the instructor; 6) be prepared to be cold-called; 7) do their best to prepare professional products for their assignments.

Course validation

Students are required encouraged to participate in class discussions, and to hone their analytical, research, and writing skills through the written assignment. Grades will be calculated as follows: Class Participation: Every student is expected to be prepared for and attend every class, and to participate in the discussions (30%). Policy Paper: Students get in group of three to write one short (1000–1600 word) policy memo, recommending an AI transformation strategy for a country, region or city of choice. This is due at any time during the seminar (50%). Students will have to write individually 1 essay (500–800 words) during the semester (20%). The class will be split into 3 segments of 10 students who will have to submit their essay towards the first, second, or third quarter of the course based on voluntary sign up. For each assignment period, one essay will be selected randomly and discussed in class during 30min.

Plans de cours et bibliographies