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Computer says no

Programmers can program computers to learn to do certain tasks.  Although the programmer writes the initial program, as it is fed more data the computer changes the way that it carries out the task in order to improve its ability to perform it.  However, how it does this is not decided by the programmer but by the computer. Researchers at the University of Oxford are looking at ways to use machine learning to solve more complex problems and to solve them more efficiently.

Students explore the ethics of using computers to make decisions.  Is it a good idea to have computers making decisions if we can’t know how they are deciding the outcome?  Are computers more or less likely to be biased than people? Are there some decisions that should always/never be made by computers?

Learning Outcomes

  • Students can describe in simple terms what is meant by Machine Learning

  • Students can communicate their ideas about the ethics of Machine Learning effectively


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