Reflecting Human–Technology Interaction


This course will explore empirical and normative questions of algorithmic processes in society from different disciplinary perspectives. It will discuss the psychological and social effects of algorithmic applications and analyze and evaluate the normative dimensions resulting from those effects. Fields to be explored include gendered robots, the role of anthropomorphism, the nature of human-machine interaction, algorithmic agency, and algorithmic decision-making in health and employment. Questions the seminar addresses include:

  • Which impact can gender-stereotyped bots have on our social interaction?
  • What can we morally evaluate that impact?
  • How does our understanding of responsibility change with the presence of algorithmic agents?
  • Should we advance medical decision-making by algorithmic devices?

Learning Goals

Students will analyze the psychological effects of different applications, and they will develop a critical reflection on the normative questions of whether or not we should move on with a certain development from a moral point of view, or adjust the design of an application.
The course will combine empirical and normative methods, and will include a variety of working modes, such as practical sessions with design tasks, group work, and exercises towards responsible design.

Academic Assessment

  • Students with the Major Computer Science who receive 1 credit will prepare an oral presentation and discuss it in class.
  • Students with the Major Social Theories and Ethics who receive 4 credits will prepare an oral presention that accounts for 30% of the grade, and submit an essay that accounts for 70% of the grade.