This course focuses on socio-technical problems caused by humanity blindly stumbling its way into the Information Age. Our new world has new rules: intellectual property looks different, cyber-crime looms large, cold cyber-warfare persists at a nation-state level, planet-scale surveillance is commonplace, we're all about to lose our jobs to robots, and the list goes on.
We shall study the rise of fake news and nation-state propaganda, the nature of sensitive information and the importance of privacy, and the deeper structural issues (such as the nature of the internet, the laws of scale, and the direction of technological progress, especially in AI) that underlie many of our problems.
While this course shall be interesting for (computer science) experts and non-experts alike, we’ll hold extra sessions for non-expert students: you should be willing to get their hands dirty! Students will also be expected to do some background reading on the history of the internet, cyber-crime, etc.
The syllabus is broken into five theses:
1. Resources: Humans, Money, and Material (includes data)
2. Control: Propaganda, Surveillance, Crimes, War
3. Flow: Structure of the Internet and Sensitive Information
4. Delusion: Presence is Power. Understanding cultural heritage and identity.
5. Robots: Is AI going to take over the world?