22910283 - Philosophy and ethics of technology

Philosophy and ethics of technology

Educational objectives:
The course aims at giving the students awareness, understanding, and autonomy of judgment in regard to the ethical implications of the introduction of the new technologies in the field of media education and e-learning. In this light, we will discuss questions such as the pervasiveness of algorithmically-based decision-making, the right to privacy, the morally controversial advancements of Artificial Intelligence, and the risks that the infosphere poses to individual autonomy.

Expected learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding: the students will be able to understand the ethical dimensions and problems generated by the development of artificial intelligence.

Applying knowledge and understanding: the students will be able to figure out their way in the complex world of A.I, by identifying its most problematic features.

Making judgements: The students will acquire critical abilities in regard to the world of AI and will be able to understand both its potentialities and risks from the ethical point of view.

Communication skills: the students will be able to deal with and elucidate the information connected with the ethical problems of AI, in its various forms.

Learning skills: the students will be able to use the analytic tools and methods learned during this course in order to understand the ethical problems of the future development of AI.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course will be divided into two parts. In the first, we will address some of the main issues of the contemporary discussion on philosophy and technology, with particular regard for the connected ethical problems: the relationship between humans and machines; the perspectives and challenges of AI; communication in the age of the internet; machines as moral patients and agents. In the second part of the course, with the help of some European Commission officials, we will debate together some of these issues.

Core Documentation

1. Tamburrini, Etica delle macchine, Carocci
2. Floridi, La quarta rivoluzione, Cortina

Reference Bibliography

See above

Type of delivery of the course

Part of the course will be held online, part face-to-face


Not required

Type of evaluation

For the students who will attend the course, on the last day of the course, there will be a written test (with a smaller program), which will be possible to complement with an oral exam. The students who will not attend the course will have to study the entire program.