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AI in Society - SOC00064H

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jennifer Chubb
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

How and in what ways can AI impact our lives? Who benefits from AI and who stands to be left behind? In this module, you will be introduced to a range of ethical issues that result from the employment of AI across a range of domains in contemporary societies.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The aim of the module is to equip students with the skills and expertise to comprehend the source of ethical issues in AI, identify potential solutions and then critically examine the ethical implications of specific cases across a range of domains of use and sectors.

AI is increasingly being applied to many societal problems. AI offers great potential for societies, but also poses existential risk. AI presents broad societal and cultural impacts, for example on governance, security, sustainability, identity, inclusion, working life, corporate and community welfare, and well-being of people. While exciting, innovative approaches in AI pose huge opportunities for many sectors and the use of AI and its potential as a creator in its own right raises key ethical (and legal) considerations.

Key ethical issues in include algorithmic bias, discrimination, manipulation, security, the rise of deep-fakes, surveillance, privacy, trust and safety, inequality, error, algorithmic decision making, rights and responsibilities, the future of work in an age of autonomy and a range of unintended consequences. As AI methods become pervasive in society there is a need to deepen understanding across those developing and deploying their use about wider issues of ethics, so as to mitigate risk and to build trust and transparency.

Module learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Articulate key concepts and debates in the ethics of AI
  2. Demonstrate the connection to ethical issues that result from the employment of AI in interactive media (at the interface with the end users) as well as creative practice (at the interface with the creative practitioners).
  3. Identify the scope and diversity of ethical concerns raised by AI in relation to creative practice including algorithmic bias and injustice, manipulation and discrimination
  4. Critically evaluate the ethical implications and consequences of an AI system or creative process using use cases from creative domains
  5. Engage in debates about the future of responsible creative AI and regulatory perspectives on ethical AI in creative practice.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Reflective essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Reflective essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

For formative work - presentation - students will receive written or verbal feedback on how to improve their skills in areas that will contribute towards their summative assessment. The formative assessment provides practice for the summative portfolio task which is in line with MLO particularly 1-3.

For summative work - essay - students will receive an overall mark and grading according to clearly defined criteria for assessing their knowledge, skills and abilities particularly in line with MLOs 4-5. They will also receive written feedback showing areas in which they have done well and those areas in which they need to improve that will contribute to their progress.

Indicative reading

Coeckelbergh, M. (2020). AI ethics. Mit Press.

Dubber, M. D., Pasquale, F., & Das, S. (Eds.). (2020). The Oxford handbook of ethics of AI. Oxford Handbooks.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.