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The AI Revolution: Ethics, Technology, and Society

The AI Revolution: Ethics, Technology and Society

An IATL interdisciplinary module

Module Code

IL041 Level 5 (Intermediate)

IL141 Level 6 (Year 3/Finalist)


Autumn term

Tues 10:00 - 12:00


  • Weekly Reflections
  • Policy Brief
  • Student Devised Assessment

What is the module about?

In this brand new IATL module for 2024/25 you will learn what AI is and how it could shape your future.

Artificial Intelligence has a long history, but burst into public consciousness in late 2022 with the rise of ChatGPT and other large language models. Some perceive AI to herald the beginning of the end for humanity, others argue that the harms is already being done, as AI builds upon and bakes in social injustice and inequality. This module will explore the history of AI, what now and what next. As a 'wicked problem', AI brings uncertainty and complexity, and to understand and respond we need to apply interdisciplinary thinking which allows us to see through multiple disciplinary perspectives and ways of understanding.

Weekly podcasts with academic, industry, and technical experts will provide context and all teaching will be workshop based. You will be working collaboratively, creatively, and critically with students from other disciplines to understand and envisage the potential futures that AI might offer. Workshops will employ techniques from design thinking, systems thinking, and LEGO ® SERIOUS PLAY methodology.

What will the module cover?

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

This module will outline the current state, status, and context of AI. It will explore how AI might be used for the common good, to promote and foster health, wealth, and happiness and the potentially negative impact of an AI-enabled world. We will explore how AI technologies impact and might determine the 'humanness' of humankind, and dig into the ethical, social, and political implications of AI by thinking about it's intersection with social justice. Looking at through a historical lens - we will explore not only the evolution of AI, but historical responses to technological innovation and disruption. As we imagine AI-enabled futures we ask 'where do we go from here'?

The course considers the 'wicked problem' of envisaging an AI-enabled world. You will work in multi-disciplinary groups to create interdisciplinary perspectives and solutions. Each weekly topic will offer a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives and ideas, and in the weekly workshop you will synthesise this knowledge to create new understanding.

A fish on a bike in Space

Generated on Canva free AI picture generator

How will I be assessed?

1) Weekly Reflections (10%)

Each week you will submit an artefact (created using AI) which captures and expresses your thoughts and reflections on the weeks study material. This will enable you to prepare for workshops, will provide opportunities to experiment with a wide range of AI tools and explore different ways to communicate ideas to a range of audiences.

2) Policy Brief: AI for Sustainable Development (25%)

You will write a briefing paper addressing how AI can further a UN Sustainable Development Goal by 2030. (You can choose which goal you focus on.) It should anticipate and evaluate potential human and ecological impact of that AI at local, national, and global level.

3) Student Devised Assessment (65%)

You will create a plausible scenario for a future AI-enabled world (2040) relative to UN Sustainable Development Goals for a lay audience.

See our video 'Demystifying Student Devised Assessments' to learn more about IATL assessment methods.

Curious to see examples of IATL assessments? See our Assessment ExhibitionLink opens in a new window

    Learning Outcomes

    See module catalogue [link to follow]

    How to register

    Complete our online form to request your place.

    Once IATL have confirmed you have been allocated a place, follow your home department's procedure to register.