Digital technologies and society

The goal of the course is to lead students to understand their role in society both as a professional and as citizens with certain technical and scientific skills. The course is highly interdisciplinary, even though it constantly refers to specific knowledge on information technologies. The hours lectures are 60.

The first edition of the course took place in the Academic Year 2018/2019. Lectures were done from March 2019 until mid-June 2019. The students who enrolled in the course are 55. Examples of topics covered are professions and code of ethics; history of computers and Internet; interpretative models of technology; ethical and policy issues in information systems; data bias; algorithm fairness. The evaluation has been based on a horal exam and on a report composed of two parts: an in depth study on a topic of choice, and a data impact assessment (on a R or Jupyter notebook) on a dataset provided by teachers where students apply the techniques learnt for assessing data bias; algorithm fairness.

The second and third editions of the course counted respectively 40 and 32 students enrolled and they were done entirely via remote classes due to the Covid-19 global emergency. The fourth edition of the course, in 2022, is being taught in a “hybrid” way: both in presence and with live streaming of the lectures for those who cannot participate due to the epidemic situation. Overall 50 students enrolled in the last edition. During the course, students are asked to give a presentation on a real case of algorithmic discrimination and discuss it with the rest of the class.