Artificial Intelligence & Society


Course Overview

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how will it shape the world in the decades to come? What ideas enable machines to see, use language, and reason, and how will these machines affect the world? In this course, we'll jointly explore the central ideas and anticipated societal impacts of Artificial Intelligence. You'll learn to program in Scratch and python, understand the history of AI, and get a taste of the technical skills central to the field.

You can download the syllabus here.


A key part of your participation in the course is to get a flavor of the scientific process involved in Artificial Intelligence research. You and a partner will be tasked with designing, implementing, and evaluating an AI algorithm of your choosing, following one of four project paths:

  1. Reinforcement Learning
  2. Machine Learning
  3. Markov Chain
  4. Search, Planning, Heuristics

You can download the project document here.


Unit One: Background

In our first unit, we visit the history of AI, starting with the Dartmouth Summer conference of 1956 that birthed the field. From there we'll build our technical skills, including binary arithmetic, logic, a bit of probability, and programming.

Unit Two: AI Core

In the second unit, we tackle present AI techniques, including Machine Learning and Reinforcement Learning. We'll also continue building our programming skills with Python.

Unit Three: AI Core

Our final unit tackles the future: what role will AI play in society?

The day-to-day schedule is available here.