Syllabus
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Syllabus

Ethics in New Media, Technology, and Communications

Teaching Assistant: Sunday Ayodabo

Office hours: By Appointment

Email: davidc.rheams@utdallas.edu (but please use Teams)

Class Website: www.drheams.com

Location: ATC 2.918

Department: Arts Technology and Emerging Communication at UT- Dallas

πŸ“œ Course Description: Exploring the Ethics of AI in Communication

Course Overview: Welcome to "Ethics in Technology and New Media.” In this course, we delve into the interplay between artificial intelligence (AI) and the realm of technological communication, examining the ethical dimensions that arise from this interaction. As AI continues to reshape the landscape of communication technologies, it is crucial to critically analyze the ethical implications inherent in these advancements.

Course Focus: In this semester, we will center our discussions on the profound ethical questions surrounding AI in communication. We aim to develop a nuanced understanding of the complex challenges that arise as AI technologies shape and transform our communication practices.

Academic Style: In line with scholarly inquiry, we approach our exploration of ethics in technology and new media with rigor and academic integrity. Our goal is to foster an environment where intellectual curiosity thrives and students can engage in thoughtful analysis and discussion of the ethical implications of AI in communication.

Open-Minded Exploration: As we embark on this journey together, it is crucial to recognize that the ethical landscape surrounding AI in communication is continually evolving. Many questions remain unanswered, and new ethical dilemmas emerge alongside technological progress. In the spirit of open-minded exploration, we invite you to join us on this intellectual adventure.

Course Structure: Throughout the semester, we will delve into various topics related to the ethics of AI in communication, including algorithmic bias, privacy and surveillance, information dissemination, societal impacts, responsibility, and governance. Through a combination of readings, class discussions, student-led facilitations, and thought-provoking assignments, we will work towards a comprehensive understanding of the ethical considerations that arise at the intersection of AI and communication.

Engagement and Critical Thinking: Active student participation is essential to the success of this course. We encourage you to actively engage in discussions, challenge assumptions, and explore diverse perspectives. By fostering an environment that values critical thinking and respectful dialogue, we can collectively navigate the complexities of AI ethics in communication.

Course Goals: By the end of this course, our aim is for you to develop a robust ethical framework that can guide your engagement with AI technologies in technology and communication. We hope to equip you with the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and ethical reasoning necessary to make informed decisions and navigate the ethical challenges presented by AI in communication.

How to use this syllabus

We prove quite a bit of content in a syllabus. Some content we expect you’ll have read and understood before class (the Reading section). Some content is for your benefit to go deeper on a given topic (the Watch section), to help explain the day’s reading, or provide an alternative point of view.

You are free to use any of the sources in your papers and will count as a β€œclass source.”

Readings may be technical and challenging. What I ask is that you give them your best try. Look things up while you’re reading. Ask questions on Teams. And most importantly ask us questions! Thinking new thoughts is hard, but it’s easier when attempt it as a group of inquirers.

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All graded materials will be submitted via eLearning.

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This isn't a class where I present information and your job is to memorize it for future use. Rather, the goal of the class to uncover ideas and present them in a new light so that we can recognize how ethical issues might affect other people and communities.

A few important items to note

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A quick note on phones in class: We ask that you use your best judgement and be polite. I completely understand that you need to stay connected. Some students are caretakers, some are on call, some have critical responsibilities. If you need to check your phone, that’s okay. But if you need to use it, please just take it outside rather than text (or worse, talking) during class. Please do not use your phone to play games, watch videos, text friends, read, do other assignments during class. It’s distracting to the lecturers and every one else around you. Also, I have not problem looking over you shoulder at what you’re doing and that can be terribly embarrassing for everyone involved!

🧰 What You'll Get Out of This Class

After taking this course your should be able to recognize ethical issues when you see them. In addition, you should have a foundation to begin to work through these issues in a just way. A few more points you should get from this class:

  • Recognizing and developing ethical frameworks
  • The ability to think and write about ethics in technology and communication
  • The ability to consider the effects of our digital tools on populations and communities besides our own

πŸ’‘Helpful Writing Tools

These are the writing and organization tools that I will mention during the semester. They all have a free option. I’ll add to this list as we go through the semester.

Writing Resources

πŸ“š Readings

All readings are provided for you - no need to buy text books. I've provided links to all readings on the class website.

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Selected Texts

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Table View

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Table View

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List View 2

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Card View

NamePublisherYearAuthorLinkDocument
marxists.org
1936
Walter Benjamin
Sarah Frier
Sarah Frier
Springer
2019
Virginia Dignum
Modern Library.
2009
Gordon Marino
Harvard University Press
1999
John Rawls
1st ed. Independent Publishing,
2018
Cennydd Bowles.
University of Notre Dame Press
2007
Alasdair MacIntyre
Oxford University Press
2016
Shannon Vallor
SSRN
2017
Andres Guadamuz and Diane Cabell
Atheneum
1967
Alan Westin
University of Chicago Press
2009
Aristotle
Yale University Press
2021
Kate Crawford
Cambridge University Press
1996
Immanuel Kant
Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency
2018
Timnit Gebru and Joy Buolamwini
Penguin Classics
1987
John Stuart Mill
Oxford: Oxford University Press
2008
Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen

πŸ—“ Schedule

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Course Schedule

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Monthly Calendar

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Monthly Calendar

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Table View

April 2024
Today
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
31
Apr 1
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May 1
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πŸ† Grading

Breakdown

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Assignment Submission: Turn in everything via eLearning. For papers, please submit your work as a Google Docs link (one that I can edit) as it is easier to give feedback in this format.

Scale

A 90%-100% B 80%-89% C 70%-79% D 60%-69% F < 60%

😒 Plagiarism

Presenting someone else’s ideas as your own, either verbatim or recast in your own words – is a serious academic offense with serious consequences. In short, don't do it.