University of Massachusetts Amherst
College of Information and Computer Sciences




Artificial Intelligence and Society

      Fall 2015


Shlomo Zilberstein


Seminar Information

Description: This seminar examines progress in artificial intelligence (AI) research and how it impacts society. AI is fueling the development of autonomous systems that have changed the way space exploration is conducted and is beginning to transform everyday life with a range of household products. Such systems offer transformational impact on society as they help reduce human labor and risks, while improving productivity and efficiency. Meanwhile, some scientists such as Stephen Hawking warn that thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence. The seminar covers major accomplishments of AI, what AI systems can do today and how they do it. Students will explore the potential and limitations of AI, the impact of AI technology on society, and the ethical questions that are raised by these technological developments.

Schedule: Thursday 4:00-4:50 in CS 142

Credit: 1 unit


Grading: Pass/Fail grading based on participation in class discussions.

Accessing the web site: The web site address is "". You can use your favorite internet browser to access the material, but some documents are protected by password. Only students who are officially enrolled in the class are authorized to use the material. The userid and password will be provided in class.

Many of the materials created for this course are the intellectual property of the instructor. This includes, but is not limited to, the syllabus, lectures and course notes. Except to the extent not protected by copyright law, any use, distribution or sale of such materials requires the permission of the instructor. Please be aware that it is a violation of university policy to reproduce, for distribution or sale, class lectures or class notes, unless copyright has been explicitly waived by the faculty member.

© 2015 Shlomo Zilberstein.