University of Helsinki: The Ethics of AI

Free online course for anyone who is interested in the ethical aspects of AI. Created to encourage people to learn what AI ethics means, what can and can’t be done to develop AI in an ethically sustainable way, and how to start thinking about AI from an ethical point of view.

In this course you’ll…

  • Discover why AI raises concerns about its ethically acceptable use and development.
  • Become familiar with the ethical questions and concepts related to contemporary AI.
  • Learn how to combine ethical concepts and theories with AI by doing practical exercises.

AI is becoming ever more relevant. It is already a part of our daily lives. When we post pictures to social media, search online or ask questions from chatbots, we’re interacting with AI. Authorities, such as cities, rely on AI for providing public services. And governments are seeking solutions to global problems by using algorithmically produced knowledge. The goal of this course is to help you to develop your own skills for ethical thinking. You can complete the course at your own pace.

  • What is AI ethics? — What does AI ethics mean and what role do values and norms play? We’ll also look at the principles of AI ethics that we will follow in this course.
  • What should we do? — What do the principles of beneficence (do good) and non-maleficence (do no harm) mean for AI, and how do they relate to the concept of the “common good?
  • Who should be blamed? — What does accountability actually mean, and how does it apply to AI ethics? We’ll also discuss what moral agency and responsibility mean and the difficulty of assigning blame.
  • Should we know how AI works — Why is transparency in AI important and what major issues are affected by transparency – and what are some of the risks associated with transparency in AI systems?
  • Should AI respect and promote rights? — What are human rights, and how do they tie into the current ethical guidelines and principles of AI? We’ll also look more closely at three rights of particular importance to AI: the right to privacy, security, and inclusion.
  • Should AI be fair and non-discriminative — What does fairness mean in relation to AI, how does discrimination manifest through AI – and what can we do to make these systems less biased?
  • AI ethics in practice — What are some of the current challenges for AI ethics, what role do AI guidelines play in shaping the discussion, and how might things develop in the future?