CS 710 AI and Data Science in Fiction and Society (HWS 2018)

The aim of this seminar is to reflect on how AI and data science influence the world we live in. We will discuss fictional works (i.e., novels) and analyze which developments are described therein and how realistic we deem them.

Goals

In this seminar, you will read and analyze a fictional work (i.e., novel) of your choice, and identify parallels between (a) AI technology described in fiction and actual technological developments, and (b) interactions between technology and society. In particular, we will discuss the societal and ethical impact of AI on modern societies.

Each participant will read a fictional work, present it to the seminar participants, and participate in the discussions. Each presentation is accompanied by a seminar paper, which will undergo a peer review process. Note that you are supposed to also read the novels for which you are peer reviewing the reports, which makes for a total reading workload of several novels throughout the semester. Presentations are supposed to be about 25 minutes long.

Organization

This seminar is organized by Prof. Dr. Heiko Paulheim

Available for Master students (2 SWS, 4 ECTS)

Prerequisites: none

Schedule

  • Kick off meeting on September 7th, 10:15 – 11:45 (room B6 26, A3.01) Slides
  • October 28th: Deadline for seminar report drafts
  • November 11th: Deadline for peer review on seminar report drafts
  • November 21st and 28th, 13.45 – 17.00: block seminar (tbc, room tba)
  • December 9th: Deadline for final seminar papers

Registration

  • Registration will be available in Portal2 (tba)
  • After getting a confirmation from Portal2, please send a ranked list of three works you would like to read and present in the seminar to Bianca Lermer
  • Final assignment of topics will be made in the kick off meeting

Possible Topics

(Note: you are kindly invited to propose other works as well)

Author Title (en) Title (de)
Andreas Brandhorst -- Das Erwachen
Cory Doctorow Little Brother Little Brother
Dave Eggers The Circle Der Circle
Marc Elsberg Blackout Blackout
Marc Elsberg -- ZERO
Andreas Eschbach Lord of all Things Herr aller Dinge
Robert Harris The Fear Index Angst
Marc-Uwe Kling -- Quality Land
Stephan Meier -- Now
Daniel Suarez Kill Decision Kill Decision
Daniel Suarez Daemon Daemon
Daniel Suarez Freedom TM Darknet
Juli Zeh The Method Corpus Delicti

Important: the language of the seminar is English. Thus, even if the work you are presenting is written in German, the language for seminar papers and presentations will be English.

Additional Lecture

(You may use those as background material, but you are kindly asked to conduct some further literature research yourself)

Books:

  • Nick Bostrom. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. 2014
  • James Hendler, Alice M. Mulvehill. Social Machines: The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity. 2018

Articles:

  • Giorgio Buttazzo: Artificial Consciousness: Utopia or Real Possibility?, 2001
  • Bruce G. Buchanan: A (Very) Brief History of Artificial Intelligence, 2005
  • Colin Allen et al.: Why Machine Ethics?, 2006
  • Yudkowsky, Elizier: Artificial Intelligence as a Positive and Negative Factor in Global Risk, 2008