JOU 4930 Spring 2021

AI in Media and Society

Section 23070

Note that many different courses are offered under the JOU 4930 course number, all taught by different instructors.

THIS IS AN UNDERGRADUATE COURSE. Graduate students may not enroll in this course without permission from the instructor.

THIS IS NOT A SKILLS COURSE. Code and programming will NOT be part of this course.

PREREQUISITES: None

Required books:

Description: Gain an understanding of artificial intelligence and machine learning as they apply to the media professions, including journalists reporting on AI. Explore major developments in AI technologies as covered by the mass media. Learn to detect hype and exaggeration in descriptions of AI’s promises and potential risks and dangers. Examine use of AI systems in finance, healthcare, hiring decisions, housing, policing, etc.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  1. Evaluate news reports and corporate claims about AI systems, noting when claims are poorly supported or likely to be exaggerated.
  2. Explain how biases come to be “baked into” various AI systems, consequences of AI biases, and how biases could be reduced or eliminated.
  3. Describe uses of AI systems in finance, healthcare, hiring decisions, housing, policing and other domains, based on news reports.
  4. List limitations of trained AI systems used for image recognition and question answering, among other applications.
  5. Define and describe fundamental structures related to AI, such as algorithms, models, neural networks.
  6. Differentiate between machine learning and other types of AI.
  7. Summarize the idea of artificial intelligence in computer science/mathematics/philosophy (not science fiction).
  8. Define and describe common concepts related to AI, such as “AI Spring,” “weak AI,” and “artificial general intelligence.”
  9. Explain the uses of some well-known datasets used in machine learning such as MNIST and ImageNet.
  10. Describe generally the operations and structure of deep neural networks for tasks involving images or language.

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