20 Credits SPRING

Aims/Description: Algorithmic systems, AI, machine learning and other data-driven technologies are transforming society. They are having wide-ranging effects, including some benefits, but they are far from straightforward. Their use results in harms as well as benefits, and algorithmic systems and AI feed into and are fed into by inequalities. This module critically interrogates claims that AI, automation and algorithms will simply lead to a better society. It explores the negative effects of related change and the ways in which algorithmic and AI systems are not experienced equally by all. It reviews theoretical literature on AI-in-society and on algorithmic culture, and focuses on high profile accounts of their social consequences, for example in education, welfare, social care, big tech and the media.

Staff Contact: JIA LIANRUI
Teaching Methods: Seminars, Independent Study,
Assessment: Course work, Project/ portfolio

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Sociological Studies):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK