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Cursus: 191612680
Computer Ethics
Cursus informatieRooster
Studiepunten (ECTS)5
Contactpersoondr. A. Henschke
dr. A. Henschke
Contactpersoon van de cursus
dr. A. Henschke
dr. J.K.G. Hopster
AanmeldingsprocedureZelf aanmelden via OSIRIS Student
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
  1. To understand key ethical issues affecting contemporary computing
  2. To develop skills in ethical reflection and debate
  3. To reflect critically and at length on one key aspect of computer ethics in written form
The aim of this course is to help students develop knowledge of, and insight into, the dynamics that exist between computers and ethics in modern society. n this course you will be introduced to a range of ethical challenges that arise in relation to, and/or because of computers. It barely needs to be said that but information and communication technologies are have brought about a revolution in how we live our lives, and how the world operates. From the personal to the global, computers have radically changed our worlds in a few short decades. At the same time, ethical values and principles are - arguably - timeless. While computers may have revolutionised our worlds, have they also changed our ethics?
This course aims to not only give you a set of tools to recognise and understand ethical issues to do with computers, but also to help you reflect upon, and question, many core ethical principles that might otherwise go unnoticed or unexamined. The course is intended to give those working in computer science a sense of how computer technologies pose ethical challenges, and to provide an entry into ethical thinking. In completing this course, students will come to recognise a range of ethical issues in computer science, and to have a set of conceptual tools that allow them to engage with ethical challenges in their research and practice.
The course will cover ethical aspects of the use, design, and oversight of computer systems. Students will look at issues of virtual harms and cyberwarfare, individual rights and privacy, political rights and surveillance technologies, social rights and free expression online, cyber-physical systems, ethics of care and human-robot interactions, and the future of computers and ethics.
After taking this course, students will have a developed knowledge of key ethical concerns in contemporary computing, be equipped with a core understanding of philosophical concepts in ethical analysis, and be able to engage critically in public debate.  As well as debating issues in class, students will provide written work focusing on cores issue of computing ethics, detailing the nature of the issue, those affected, and means of mitigating legitimate concerns.

The assessment will consist of one group assignment and one exam.
The assignment will be 6,000 words to be completed in groups of 4 or 5. Groups will be able to choose one from four possible case studies to analyze. They will have three weeks to complete this assignment.
The exam will consist of a 2,000 word essay to be completed by each individual student in the space of 3 hours. The feedback from the assignment (to be completed and graded before the exam is set) will then also help to inform the students as to areas on which to concentrate in revision

With a choice of four questions for the exam and four for the assignment, the two can cover the eight teaching sessions without overlap, so there will be no problem of students taking one subject for the assignment and using the same readings for the exam.
Participating study
Master Computer Science
Participating study
Master Interaction Technology
Participating study
Master Internet Science and Technology
Verplicht materiaal
Aanbevolen materiaal
A collection of articles will be made available on Canvas. No separate book needed.



Exam & (group) assignments

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