University of Massachusetts Amherst
College of Information and Computer Sciences




Artificial Intelligence and Society

      Fall 2015


Shlomo Zilberstein


Tentative Schedule


AI Past and Present
What is artificial intelligence? What can AI systems do today?
Homework: Enroll in the seminar's Piazza website.


Principles and Technologies that Enable AI
How does AI work? What are the enabling principles and technologies?
Homework: Read "Sections 6.1-3, 6.6" of Russell and Norvig's "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach".


Strong AI, the Turing Test and Winograd Schema
What is "strong" or "full" AI? How should it be tested and evaluated?
Homework: Watch this youtube clip about "Strong AI"; Read Turing's 1950 paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"; Read the Wikipedia article about the "Loebner Prize"; Review the "Collection of Winograd Schemas" by Ernest Davis.


Objections to Strong AI: The Chinese Room and Other Arguments
Is strong AI possible? What are the primary arguments against it?
Homework: Read sections 1-4 of the article about the "The Chinese Room Argument" in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; You may also want to read the Wikipedia article on the "Philosophy of artificial intelligence".


Superintelligence and Singularity
What is singularity? Is it science fiction?
Homework: Read Annalee Newitz's blog "What Is The Singularity And Will You Live To See It?"; Watch this youtube "Interview with Noam Chomsky".


Bounded Rationality and the Role of Emotions in Decision Making
How can humans and machines handle their limitations? How can one be rational with bounded memory and limited computational resources?
Homework: Read Daniel Kahneman's Nobel lecture "Maps of Bounded Rationality: A Perspective on Intuitive Judgment and Choice"; (optional) Watch this youtube talk by Dan Ariely titled "We're All Predictably Irrational"; (optional) Read Muramatsu and Hanoch's article on "Emotions as a mechanism for boundedly rational agents: The fast and frugal way".


Achieving Super-Human Performance via Human-Computer Partnership
How can teams of people and computers outperform the best human experts and the best existing AI?
Homework: Watch Sean Gourley's Talk "Big Data and the Rise of Augmented Intelligence"; Read this Science report about "Victory for crowdsourced biomolecule design"; Watch Erik Brynjolfsson's TED Talk "The key to growth? Race with the machines".


Robots on the Battlefield
Are robots going to change the nature of warfare? What are the risks? What are the ethical questions that arise?
Homework: Read this PBS Newshour article about "5 weapons that don’t need a human to pull the trigger"; Read this Atlantic article titled "More Than Human? The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soldiers"; Listen to the NPR Fresh Air segment with P.W. Singer explaining his new book "Wired For War"; (optional) Read Ron Arkin's article "The Case for Ethical Autonomy in Unmanned Systems".


The Impact of Human-Augmented Intelligence
Are computers changing human character? Is our closeness with computers changing us as a species?
Homework: Listen to this NPR Invisibilia segment, particularly the "Conversation with Thad Starner", who has been wearing a computer since 1993; Read this WSJ essay titled "Automation Makes Us Dumb".


No Class


AI, Robotics and the End of Work
Will AI bring the end of work? What are the implications if it does?
Homework: Read this Atlantic article about "A World Without Work"; Watch Kevin Surace's talk about "Robotics, AI, the end of human work, and a coming Renaissance".


Thanksgiving Holiday


Fearing AI
Should we fear AI? What are the risks? What are the safeguards? Who is responsible?
Homework: Review this Huffington Post page titled "Should We Fear Artificial Intelligence? The Experts Can't Seem To Agree"; Watch Stefan Wess's talk about "Artificial intelligence: dream or nightmare?".


What have we learned?

© 2015 Shlomo Zilberstein.