LW7101 - Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and the Law

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn to critically evaluate the development of the law relating to the operation of autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and robotics. As these systems become more ubiquitous, legal frameworks which cater for human decision-making, will come under increasing scrutiny as human interaction is replaced by autonomous decision making based on machine learning. Areas you will study include: Conceptualising Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, Machine Learning and a new legal paradigm, The Ethical Challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence, Legal informatics and the robot lawyer, The Internet Economy and AI, Regulating Autonomous systems in transport (i) Self Driving Vehicles, Regulating Autonomous systems in transport (ii) Drones & Autonomous, Regulating Autonomous systems in transport (iii) Autonomous ships and sea transport, The Rise of Killer Robots: the regulation of autonomous weapons systems, Space-based AI systems.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will utilise lectures and workshops to initiate your practical thinking on the content areas mentioned above. The lectures will cover the basic legal and conceptual frameworks of the topics outlined above. Workshops will provide an opportunity to discuss the law in the context of the contemporary themes in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the law incorporating robotics. These sessions will, thereby, consolidate your understanding and emphasising the implications of the law. Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises. Individual and group feedback will be given to students in the small group sessions on their performance after the submission of practice assignments and/or workshop tasks. You will be assessed by way of a written piece of coursework based on a case study, which will take place in the Semester Two assessment period. You will be able to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice within the module and on the programme as a whole, with feedback of appropriate quality and the positive application of formative feedback on learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The members of staff who teach on this module have significant research experience in this area. As such, they will provide academic support and hopefully stimulate your thinking around this subject. All lectures will be recorded and made available to students to aid in learning and understanding. You will be encouraged to use this resource to develop your appreciation of the interrelated nature of the disparate areas of law studied as part of the module. The module will make use of the eLearning Portal (Blackboard Ultra), where lecture materials, podcasts, recordings, and other learning support materials will be made available. You will be provided with appropriate written or oral feedback (as appropriate), and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme. The module site will also direct you to supplementary resources which you are encouraged to explore in addition to the material covered in lectures and workshops. The module will make use of an online reading list. The reading list will provide you with links to key texts and information on their availability in the university library.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. You will be able to display and critically apply expert legal knowledge within the field of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. You will be able to analyse and communicate complex legal and policy issues relating to Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

3. You will be able to critically evaluate source material, suggest alternative approaches to the law relating to the application of Artificial Intelligence and robotic solutions in practice and reflect on the application of your knowledge and that of others within practical contexts.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. You will take responsibility for your own independent learning in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working independently to further enhance existing skills and develop new skills to a high level.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises.

The module is summatively assessed by 100% coursework with a maximum word limit of 3,000 words. The assessment will take the form of a discussion of an issue in AI or robotics that is selected by the student. This will be designed to facilitate examination of specific aspects of relevant law and related legal research and will include discussion of recent developments.

Assessment criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

Pre-requisite(s)

NA

Co-requisite(s)

NA

Module abstract

In this module you will learn to critically evaluate the development of the law relating to the operation of autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and robotics. As these systems become more ubiquitous, legal frameworks which are used to dealing with human decision making, will come under increasing scrutiny as human interaction is replaced by autonomous decision making based on machine learning. You will study the way in which the evolution of driverless cars is leading to a revolution in the law of tort. The legal dimensions of algorithms within everyday life will be assessed alongside the broader ethical and legal dimensions of the rise in use of Artificial Intelligence. The module will also examine the rise of so-called ‘Killer Robots’ and the challenges to international law posed by the rise of autonomous weapons systems. The module builds on the research interests of the staff and will provide a unique insight into an emerging and evolving area of legal inquiry.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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