PAVS 4500 (004): How will Artificial Intelligence change Humanity?

University of Virginia, Fall 2018

Meetings: Mondays, 3:30-6:00PM

Coordinator: David Evans ( My office is Rice 507.


Artificial intelligence has made remarkable advances in the past decade, leading to machines that can out-perform humans on many of the tasks that once defined what it means to be human: understanding language, recognizing images, playing games, and even creating art. According to many prognosticators, within just a few decades we may reach a world where the traditional purposes of human existence, and the work the preponderance of humans do today, will no longer exist. This seminar will explore the validity of such predictions, and consider what the future of humanity is in a world that may not need us. We will explore these issues from a variety of perspectives, spanning economics, politics, philosophy, computer science, and anthropology. We will include both historical and fictional readings to understand how humanity has adapted to past dramatic shifts, technical readings to understand the present and future of artificial intelligence, philosophical and political readings to understand how society might adapt to increasingly intelligence machines, and various other media including computer simulations, music, and movies.

Coming soon…

The rest of the syllabus will be posted here around August.