Shaping and being shaped by AI

Instructor: Chinmay Kulkarni
Human Computer Interaction Institute
Carnegie Mellon

Taught at Carnegie Mellon’s main campus

A smaller, more focused course taught remotely at CMU Qatar

Why this class?

Many courses teach you how to solve a problem with AI (e.g. speech recognition, language “understanding”, or robotic manipulation.) This class is different. It focuses on what problems should AI solve, and what are the characteristics of a “good” solution. By taking a “long-term” perspective, it forces us to consider not only what implications a solution might have right away, but what it might do decades from now.

This course is centered around three themes: 1) How AI shapes us, 2) How AI shapes society, and 3) How to shape AI. We will cover a number of topics across these themes: agency and initiative, AI and power (and relatedly bias, fairness, and justice), the nature of infrastructure, co-adaptation, privacy, and more.

These topics will be explored with real-life  examples in computer vision, automatic speech recognition, data science, recommender systems, social networks, online dating, UI personalization, and others. Finally, we will also consider algorithmic and design tools to improve long-term effects; such as parsimonious machine learning models, design futuring techniques, and even machine learning models that decline to work when it is responsible to do so!