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AI & Ethics


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


Artificial intelligence gives rise to quite some questions with an ethical aspect: Who are we? (In the light of highly intelligent alternatives.) Who is responsible? (If some autonomous AI behaves badly.) Do we get unemployed? How to deal with bias in supposedly objective algorithms? In this course students become aware of these issues and learn some major ideas of ethical theory that can be of help in the dilemmas. We will discuss some theory about responsibility, bias of algorithm and privacy issues, the ethics of professional hacking, and conclude with moral considerations about robots rights.

Course objectives

The main objective for this course is to make students aware of the ethical issues in AI, and to help them to come to argued judgments. It's a pragmatic course, that is supposed to be pleasant for students. (Ethics itself is serious enough.) So besides more formal content from textbooks, we will use concrete and interesting cases from e.g. movies, documentaries, novels etc.


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For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Pleas note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Students write two short columns (of about 500 words) during the course, and a larger essay (of about 1000 words) at the end of it. With support of the teaching assistants. And finally, the students end the course with a written exam.

The lecturer will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.

Reading list

Not applicable.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudymap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ on MyStudymap can be found here.


Lecturer: Prof.dr. Bas Haring.

Education coordinator LIACS bachelors.


Not applicable.