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‘Actors and behaviour in cyberspace’ draws on insights from the behavioural analysis literature focusing on the activities and interactions of individuals, corporations, States and algorithms in cyberspace. The course starts by introducing the students to rational choice theory in order to delineate self-interest focused behaviour as a benchmark representing rational choices. The students are then introduced to the information asymmetry concept. Actors are usually under the impression that they make informed choices, however this might not be always the case, especially in complex domains like cyberspace. For example, when it comes to giving consent to be subject to automated-decision making, the individual is significantly less informed about the consequences of the respective consent. When it comes to how corporations act in cyberspace, it is important to identify corporations as profit maximising entities. This would mean a corporation’s rational choice regarding its behaviour in cyberspace would be influenced by their competitors’ behaviour. To better understand how corporations influence each other’s behaviour, the students will be introduced to game theory concepts including simultaneous and sequential games, as well as coordination games. The course will continue by focusing on State behaviour in cyberspace. We will analyse how e.g. coordination games can also exist between States and how information can be obtained via the game-theoretic approach that can prove relevant for the subject of cybersecurity regulation. We will also touch upon how open government strategies could affect State behaviour. We will use examples from how big data analytics might be abused, e.g. through State action. In the last session, we will focus on how artificial intelligence and machine learning based algorithms can influence the behaviour of individuals, corporations and States.
Participants will have:
basic knowledge and understanding of the root causes of information asymmetry and how it affects behaviour of actors in cyberspace
basic knowledge and understanding of the contributions made by the behavioural sciences (with a special focus on behavioural economics and game theory) in analysing and evaluating the role of behaviour and agency in cyberspace
basic knowledge and understanding of the human behaviour, corporation behaviour, State behaviour and the algorithm behaviour in cyberspace
insight into discourse concerning rational choice theory, choice architecture, coordination games, economic incentives and automated-decision making
On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-Prospectus you will find a link to the online timetables.
Mode of Instruction
Lectures, seminars, exercises, class discussion
Lecturer: Dr. Elif Kiesow Cortez
The grade of this assignment is composed of four elements:
a. problem identification using one of the theories in the course (10%)
b. case analysis or short paper focusing on the selected problem (50%)
c. presentation 1 (10%)
d. presentation 2 (30%)
Only assessments with the weight of 30% and lower are compensable. This means that one does not have to pass an assessment if it weighs 30% or less in order to pass the course, if the average of all assessments combined is at least a 5.50. In addition, assignments weighing up to and including 30% cannot be re-taken, meaning that if one failed an assessment of 30% or less, one is not allowed to redo it and that assessment must be compensated by the other assessment(s).
The re-sit will take the same form.
Compulsory literature and literature for further consultation will be announced via Brighstpace
No registration is required for lectures and exams.
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