ASPI Curricular Activities
Dr. Hamid Ekbia, director of the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute, is teaching an introductory course on artificial intelligence (AI) in fall 2023.
AI and Humanity (MAX 300)
What kind of a humanity might emerge from the widespread infusion of Al in our lives and how can we shape this in our favor? With that as the central question, this course intends to introduce Al to students from different backgrounds and disciplines from arts, engineering and (natural and social) sciences to humanities, law and media. Al is at once a set of techniques, a way of seeing and thinking, and a method of organizing our social world. It has a known history but an uncertain future. With an eye on history, we will chart out possible trajectories for the future. Starting with key concepts and basic techniques of Al, the course will outline the thinking behind them and the way it shapes our social relations— from economic, ecological and cultural to legal, moral, even romantic relationships. All that is needed for this course is intellectual engagement. No technical background is required.
Related Courses at Syracuse University
Please visit our Answers page for a list of other courses at Syracuse University related to autonomous systems policy and artificial intelligence.
ASPI Graduate Seminar
The graduate seminar is intended to provide a campus-wide forum for discussions on the techno-scientific, socio-historical, political-economic, legal-ethical, and governance-policy aspects of technology, especially AI and autonomous systems. Offered every fall and spring semester, the seminar will be focused on a particular theme selected by three faculty members, ideally from three different departments, who will run the seminar on a rotating basis. The seminar will involve three key activities:
- Weekly readings and discussions every week
- Three invited talks on the thematic topics of the semester (by SU or non-SU scholars)
- Graduate student enrollment and participation as described below
The ASPI seminar comes in two formats:
- The one-credit version is offered pass/fail and is available to master's, doctoral and qualified undergraduate students. It requires attending the weekly seminar, completing weekly readings, and participating in the discussion, either live during the session or virtually via the ASPI webpage.
- The three-credit version is taken for a letter grade. In addition to meeting the requirements for the one-credit version, this format requires a substantial paper on relevant topics. You can think of it as a concurrent independent study. Students typically use this option to work on a literature review for their dissertation, on policy analysis of pending or current legislation, on a comparative analysis of international regulatory regimes, or to generate a substantial research proposal, exploring a broad topic on AI and autonomous systems that would benefit from guidance by ASPI faculty. This paper cannot be used for any other course.
Fall 2023 Graduate Seminar: Wednesdays, 3:45-6:30, 347 Hinds Hall
The ASPI Graduate Seminar is a weekly campus-wide forum for discussions on the techno-scientific, socio-historical, political-economic, legal-ethical, and governance-policy aspects of technology, especially AI and autonomous systems. The Fall 2023 seminar will focus on the cultural and historical aspects of science and technology as it relates to contemporary advances in AI, with three faculty members each leading a 5-week session. Professor Kellen Backer will lead sessions that focus on the political history of technology; Professor Delali Kumavie will lead sessions that focus on antiblackness and sexism in how technologies are developed and deployed; Professor Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn will lead sessions that ask what it means to be human in the age of AI.
The one-credit version of the seminar is offered as a pass/fail course and is available to both master's, doctoral, and qualified undergraduate students. It requires attending the weekly seminar, completing the readings for the week, and participating in the discussion, either live during the session or virtually via the ASPI webpage. The three-credit version of the seminar requires the addition of a substantive research paper on topics discussed in the seminar.