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Critical perspectives on AI


Status Running - no longer open for registrations
School IDA-gemensam (IDA)
Owner Tom Ziemke

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Course plan

No of lectures

6-8 seminars (exact number depends on number of participants)

Recommended for

The course is mainly intended for PhD students in cognitive science, computer science, and related disciplines (but see also Prerequisites below).

The course was last given

The course has not been given before.


The main goal is to familiarize students with critical perspectives addressing limitations, risks, misperceptions, etc. of AI research and technology.


Some background in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and/or human-computer interaction. Students do not necessarily need much technology/computing background, though, so PhD students who have a strong interest in AI, but come from other research areas (e.g. STS, or applications of AI in education, healthcare, etc.), are certainly also welcome.


The course mainly consists of discussion seminars and student presentations.


The course consists of:

- one introductory lecture/seminar that goes through 'old' criticisms of AI discussed in the 1960s-90s (e.g. frame problem, common sense problem, symbol grounding problem)

- 5 seminars discussing 5 recent books (2019-2021) that address critical perspectives on AI (see Literature for details)


The course literature mainly consists of the following 5 books:

Aylett & Vargas (2021). Living with Robots: What every anxious human needs to know. MIT Press.

Crawford (2021). Atlas of AI: Power, politics, and the planetary costs of artificial intelligence. Yale University Press.

Russell (2019). Human Compatible: Artificial intelligence and the problem of control. Viking Press.

Smith (2019). The Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and judgement. MIT Press.

Strengers & Kennedy (2020). The Smart Wife: Why Siri, Alexa, and other smart home devices need a feminist reboot. MIT Press.


Tom Ziemke


Tom Ziemke


Mandatory student presentations, active participation in seminar discussions, and some written coursework.


6 hp


Page responsible: Director of Graduate Studies