Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a catalyst for social, economic, scientific, political and legal change in our time. AI powers machine learning, natural language processing, sentiment analysis and complex autonomous systems operating in different domains. Each of these has ramifications for the law and society. The use of algorithmic decision-making and predictive coding by government and in the courts are cause for concern. Future lawyers and other professionals will need to understand the benefits and risks associated with the use of different types of AI in all aspects of social interaction, governance, compliance, risk analysis and business opportunities. The role of AI in social relationships of trust has been explored in science fiction and popular media. Its impact on the markets, elections, global health trends and human relationships is not to be underestimated. Artificial Intelligence, Law, & Society (AILS) is an interdisciplinary module that explores these questions and helps students understand the societal impact of ubiquitous AI, robotics, and automation.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Articulate and distinguish the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of artificial intelligence and its role as a primary catalyst of social, economic, scientific, political and legal change in the 21st century.
- Construct and defend rationales for the use of ‘Legal Technology’ in legal practice, administration, and adjudication, including software applications leveraging Big Data and related techniques to assess litigation risk, recidivism, and 'predict' the outcome of legal cases.
- Evaluate the use of proprietary algorithmic systems to automate legal processes and decision-making in private and public sector contexts.
- Critically analyse the ways that AI is shaping and changing life, work and leisure in the 21st century.
- Plan and conduct a project to research and critically analyse the societal impact of AI and the role of law in mediating its potential harms, and actualising its benefits.
- In-class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Reflective journal - 1,800 words (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Research essay - 3,600 words (60) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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- Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
- Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have three contact hours per week.
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Requisite and Incompatibility
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Alternatively, this information will be published in the Program course list when known.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.