• Class Number 4424
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Nick Schuster
    • Sean Donahue
    • Dr Michael Barnes
    • Jake Stone
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course offers an advanced approach to ethics or social and political philosophy, suitable for students who have a background in this area and who may be interested in continuing into 4th year Honours. What is taught will change from year to year.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. demonstrate familiarity with the philosophical issues relating to ethics and justice as covered in the course;
  2. argue for a philosophical position related to the material covered in the course;
  3. display skill in writing research papers in philosophy; and
  4. discuss ideas verbally and to engage in interactive dialogue.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

This iteration of PHIL3073 is titled Machine Intelligence and Normative Theory. This course introduces students to moral, social, and political questions surrounding the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Technical aspects of AI, including data, algorithms, and machine learning, are explored in light of their relations to major issues in normative theory, such as moral agency, moral responsibility, manipulation, exploitation, privacy, and consent.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Unit 1: Introduction to AI and Normative Theory Eubanks, “High-Tech Homelessness in the City of Angels,” from Automating inequality Lum & Isaac, “To Predict and Serve”
2 Unit 1: Introduction to AI and Normative Theory Binns, “Fairness in Machine Learning” Fazelpour & Lipton, “Algorithmic Fairness from a non-ideal perspective” Selbst et al, “Fairness and abstraction in sociotechnical systems”
3 Unit 1: Introduction to AI and Normative Theory Young, “Five Faces of Oppression,” from Justice and the Politics of Difference [~27 pages] (Various), AI Decolonial Manyfesto
4 Unit 2: Moral Agency and Responsibility Véliz, “Moral zombies: why algorithms are not moral agents” Agüera y Arcas, “Do Large Language Models Understand Us?”
5 Unit 2: Moral Agency and Responsibility Talbot, Jenkins, & Purves, “When Robots Should Do the Wrong Thing” Awad et al, “Crowdsourcing Moral Machines”
6 Unit 2: Moral Agency and Responsibility Zerilli et al, “Algorithmic Decision-Making and the Control Problem” Vallor, “Moral Deskilling and Upskilling in a New Machine Age”
7 Unit 3: Online Speech and Sociality Barlow, “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” Susser, Roessler, & Nissenbaum, “Technology, autonomy, and manipulation” Lazar & Benn, “What’s Wrong with Automated Influence?”
8 Unit 3: Online Speech and Sociality Suler, “The Online Disinhibition Effect” Bloom & Jordan, “Are we all harmless torturers now?” Norlock, “Online Shaming” Rini & Cohen, “Deep Fakes, Deep Harms”
9 Unit 3: Online Speech and Sociality Perrigo, “Inside Facebook’s African Sweatshop” Roberts, “Behind the Screen,” from Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media Gillespie, “What Platforms Are, and What They Should Be,” from Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media
10 Unit 4: Collective Outcomes Bhargave & Velasquez, “Ethics of the Attention Economy: The Problem of Social Media Addiction” Liu, Silicone Inquiry
11 Unit 4: Collective Outcomes Barocas & Nissenbaum, “Big Data’s End Run around Anonymity and Consent” Thomson, “How to be a Techno-Optimist”
12 Unit 4: Collective Outcomes Himmelreich, “Against ‘Democratizing AI’” Horton, “The Simple but Ingenious System Taiwan Uses to Crowdsource Its Laws”

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Essay 1 40 % 24/03/2023 31/03/2023 1,2,3
Essay 2 40 % 02/06/2023 16/06/2023 1,2,3
Participation 20 % * * 1,2,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to participate in tutorial discussions. Additionally, each student will submit 10 short reading responses by the end of the semester. These responses will be approximately 100 words long and will focus on what the student found most confusing, dubious, or controversial in the assigned readings for the week. Responses are due on Wattle 24 hours before the weekly seminar. Students may submit only one response per week. Since this course includes 12 seminars, this means that each student may choose two weeks to not submit a reading response.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 24/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Essay 1

Each essay will be approximately 2000 words long and will construct and defend an argument related to a central topic of the course. Topics and rubrics will be circulated well in advance of the due date.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 02/06/2023
Return of Assessment: 16/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Essay 2

Each essay will be approximately 2000 words long and will construct and defend an argument related to a central topic of the course. Topics and rubrics will be circulated well in advance of the due date.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Nick Schuster

Research Interests

Dr Nick Schuster

Sean Donahue

Research Interests

Sean Donahue

Dr Michael Barnes

Research Interests

Dr Michael Barnes

Jake Stone

Research Interests

Jake Stone

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions