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IIT-H launches course in Artificial Intelligence and Humanity

IIT-H launches course in Artificial Intelligence and Humanity
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The Department of Liberal Arts DLA of Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad IITH has launched a minor course in Artificial Intelligence AI and...

Hyderabad: The Department of Liberal Arts (DLA) of Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IITH) has launched a minor course in ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Humanity’.

The course was introduced to understand the influence of the AI on everyday lives is growing exponentially and how the AI is interacting with various facets of the everyday life cycle of people, society, their environment and the like and to understand how the AI technologies are being incorporated into the fabric of everyday life.

As part of the course, the AI and Humanity minor at IITH will expose students to exciting opportunities and challenges presented by AI. Students will benefit from thinking beyond the purely technical aspects of AI: humanities and social science scholars will team up with engineers and designers to offer wide-ranging interdisciplinary perspectives on AI and Humanity as part of this newly launched Minor by the Department of Liberal Arts.

Speaking about the unique aspects of the Minor, Dr Aalok Khandekar, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, at DLA, said, “There is so much excitement about AI these days, about their transformative potential in terms of ushering in nothing short of a fourth industrial revolution. And indeed, we are already beginning to see the permeation of AI-based chatbots and such into routine everyday transactions.”

However, there were also daunting challenges that AI poses to questions of privacy, equity, labour, and jurisprudence: How, for instance, do we rethink fundamental categories such as risk and liability—cornerstones of how we have organized the insurance industry for so long—in the case of autonomous vehicles? With greater penetration of AI, what kind of market disruptions are we likely to witness—in countries like India especially, where the vast majority of the labour force continues to work in the informal sector? How we should best manage such disruptions, he added.

The AI and Humanity minor at IITH is among only a handful of such initiatives globally in wanting to proactively take on these questions—more in the mode of collectively figuring out rather than having pre-made answers to pre-defined problems, unlike as it is often the case in teaching programmes. And we do this through interdisciplinary lenses, through a focus on technology-in-the-making rather than conducting post facto analyses, said Dr Aalok Khandekar.

The AI and Humanity minor is open to students from the second year onward. The 12-credit minor includes foundational courses in the history, philosophy, sociology, and psychology of technology, as well as courses focusing on the social, political, economic, and legal implications of AI, at a global scale. As part of the AI and Humanity minor, students will also undertake team-based project work, supervised jointly by faculty across liberal arts, design, and engineering departments, to further explore the socio-technical dimensions of AI.

The faculty team handling this Minor include: Dr Aalok Khandekar, Dr Nandini Ramesh Sankar, Dr Anindita Majumdar, Dr Haripriya Narasimhan, and Dr Mahati Chittem all are from DLA. That apart, Dr Aravind Kumar Rengan from Department of Biomedical Engineering, Dr Sumohana Channappayya and Dr G V V Sharma of Department of Electrical Engineering, Dr Vineeth Balasubramanian of Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Prasad Onkar from Design Department.

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