Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Employment and Humanity


Course description

Artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded over the news, provoking great optimism, pessimism, and confusion. Do thinking machines precipitate Utopia or Armageddon? What do you make of half the workforce being automated into unemployment, or a future AI destroying us? We will unpack these issues to understand what AI is, isn’t, and what it might become. No understanding of computers required.

In this course, we will cover the history of AI through recent developments including self-driving cars, look at AI in the news, and explore the positions of figures such as Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Ray Kurzweil. We will review studies of employment automation to see who will be most affected, and how to protect careers.

We will also discuss what will happen when a computer even appears to be thinking and explore the implications for psychology, philosophy, and our survival. Will we need to evolve along a transhumanist path in symbiosis with AI?

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