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The primary goal of this course is to give students a non-technical introduction to the three main types of actually-existing AI (symbolic, artificial neural networks/machine learning, situated) and how they are being used in the world. This primary goal is motivated by three sub-goals: a) to cut through the pervasive hype and mystification around AI, b) to understand how AI is increasingly involved, often invisibly, in almost every type of media, c) to critically assess the proliferation of AI and its social effects.
Students will spend the first five weeks primarily learning what exactly AI is, focusing on Boden (2018). The second half of the semester will engage in critical analysis of AI through the lenses of political economy, cultural studies and media theory.
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