We asked ourselves where Russian IT specialists, if they wish, can get basic knowledge of digital ethics. Apparently, this should be a short course – not a 10 minute lecture, but not a semester either. Not within the framework of studying at a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a university, but available right now and online.
- there are few such courses in English;
- in Russian, there are practically none.
Where were looking
This resource lists selected digital ethics courses available on Russian-language and English-language online education platforms. In search of courses, we looked through the catalogs of 23 major online educational platforms that offer courses like Data science, Big Data, etc. Educational platforms for schoolchildren, specialized platforms for learning foreign languages and sites with courses “Creating masks on Instagram” – do not count. Technology ethics and ethics courses for engineers who are taught as part of their undergraduate studies, such as at MIT, are also bypassed if there is no easy access to them.
Basically, all courses found were open for training. The sample did not include several interesting courses marked as currently unavailable.
Audience: IT professionals and everyone who wants to learn more about the ethics of digital technologies. As a separate topic or lecture, the ethics of “numbers” is sometimes touched upon in a relatively long course like Fundamentals of Philosophy or in the Data Scientist curriculum, but more often not than yes.
- Where we found courses on ethics (7): Coursera (eng), edX (eng), Udemy (eng), MIT OpenCourseWare (eng), Stepik (Russian), Bang Bang Education (Russian).
- Where we did not find such courses (16): Harvard Online Courses (eng), Stanford Online (eng), TEDed (eng), Khan Academy (eng), Codecademy (eng), Udacity (eng), DataCamp (eng), Netology (rus.), Skillbox (rus.) , GeekBrains (Russian), Skillfactory (Russian), Yandex.Practicum (Russian), Yandex Academy (Russian), Intuit (Russian), Open University (Russian), Otus (Russian), Postnauka (Russian .).
Ethics courses in English
Cost: free participation (payment at will for passing control tests and obtaining a certificate).
Organizer: University of California, Davis via Coursera.
For whom: For everyone.
Description: The course immerses you in context and provides direct experience of working with big data and artificial intelligence, talks about the role ethics plays in this area. Students discuss ethical issues when working with user data. The course is part of the Computational Social Science specialization.
Ethics, Technology and Engineering
Cost: free participation is possible (payment is optional for passing control tests and obtaining a certificate).
For whom: students and specialists.
Organizer: Eindhoven University of Technology on Coursera.
Description: an engineering ethics course for approximately 18 hours of study. Includes the criteria of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, a non-governmental organization that, inter alia, accredits educational programs in engineering specialties. According to her criteria, engineers “must have an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility” and “understand the impact of engineering decisions in a global social context.”
Data Science Ethics on the edX and Coursera
Cost: Free participation (on edX: $ 49 to get certified).
Organizer: University of Michigan on edX and Coursera.
For whom: For everyone.
Description: a short introductory course for about 15 hours of study. The focus is on ethics in the context of Data Science: data privacy, big data control, informed user consent. The ethics of decision-making taking into account the interests and needs of different market participants is considered, the influence of data science on the development of society is described.
Ethics in AI and Big Data
Cost: free participation ($ 199 to get a certificate).
Organizer: The Linux Foundation at edX.
For whom: For everyone.
Description: a small introductory course, designed for about 10 hours of study. The focus is on ethical issues in artificial intelligence and data science.
Data Ethics, AI and Responsible Innovation
Cost: free participation ($ 49 to get a certificate).
Organizer: The University of Edinburgh on edX.
For whom: for advanced listeners (intermediate level of difficulty).
Description: an overview course for approximately 20 hours of study. There are many cases in the course from such areas as face recognition, predictive police, medical examinations, smart homes and cities, artificial intelligence, technologies in the banking sector. These cases are discussed in the context of how the conflicting and competing interests of society, business and government influence ethical decision-making. The focus is on the ethical issues of data-driven technologies, in particular big data, artificial intelligence (AI) systems and machine learning systems.
AI law, ethics, privacy & legalities
Cost: usually 2299 rubles, options are possible within the framework of promotions.
Organizer: Cyberlaw University on Udemy.
For whom: For everyone.
Description: a short introductory course on the legal regulation of AI, video about 1 hour long. The course reveals the importance of ethical principles and standards in AI laws, the need to protect personal data and privacy of people, the need, in principle, to include data protection on the agenda. AI-assisted cybercrime and possible future developments in industry law are mentioned.
Artificial Intelligence Ethics Certification
Cost: is free.
Organizer: Ross Asdourian, Founder of RatioAI
For whom: for everyone, primarily for current and future employees of companies working with data and AI technologies.
Description: the relationship of ethics, on the one hand, and the realm of data and artificial intelligence, on the other. The course examines how the ethics of virtue (more precisely, thinking based on virtue, virtue-based thinking) affects the field of AI, from which side to approach the creation of guidelines on ethics.
Cost: is free
Organizer: MIT OpenCourseWare.
For whom: for all comers, designed for the graduation course.
Description: Introductory course with 20 audio lectures in English, delivered in 2006. An introduction to the theory and practice of engineering ethics without an emphasis on IT ethics.
Practical Data Ethics
Cost: is free.
Organizer: Fast.ai, a non-profit research group focused on deep learning and artificial intelligence.
For whom: for anyone working in technology and interested in data ethics in working with deep learning.
Description: a 6-lecture course first taught in early 2020 by Jeremy Howard, creator of Kaggle, at the University of San Francisco Data Institute. The course focuses on the basics of data ethics, privacy, disinformation, and algorithm bias. It also discusses the role of the Silicon Valley ecosystem and algorithmic colonialism.
Russian-language courses on ethics
Artificial Intelligence Law and Ethics
Cost: is free.
Organizer: Far Eastern Federal University at Stepik.
For whom: students of technical specialties and everyone interested.
Description: an introductory course on legal, ethical and socio-moral standards for regulating the development and application of AI systems, robotic technologies and autonomous vehicles. The course provides information on approaches and trends in the use of AI, ethical and legal challenges associated with this area.
Ethics in the digital space
Cost: 2000 RUB
Organizer: Irina Rusakova, Senior UX Designer at Thomson Reuters at Bang Bang Education.
For whom: UX designers, students, and professionals involved in digital product development.
Description: several short lectures on why it is useful for a UX designer to take into account the problems, interests, needs and capabilities of users.
What else to read in Russian: “Ethics and” digital “: ethical problems of digital technologies”
In January 2020, the CDTO Training Center report was released “Ethics and” digital “: ethical problems of digital technologies”… The ethical risks and problems of digital technologies described in it (primarily, the collection and processing of big data, artificial intelligence, the Internet of things) are considered mainly from the point of view of their application in public administration.
The risks and vulnerabilities that open up during the transition of the economy and public administration to digital are comparable in scale to the opportunities that are opening up. It is clearly not enough to outline the ethical risks of digitalization. While it is hardly possible to fully anticipate and prevent them, you can try to minimize them.
Where to begin?
To explore the topic of digital ethics, we recommend starting with the following two courses.
Data Science Ethics Course (Michigan State University) shows how the approach to data collection and processing has changed due to the development of technology and the emergence of big data, how legislation lags behind technology, what privacy problems this creates and why it is important to find a public consensus about the rights of different parties to user data.
Ethics course for engineers and developers Ethics, Technology and Engineering (also Michigan State University) briefly and in general terms describes the theory and provides cases from different areas, pays attention to the distribution of responsibility, risk assessment from an ethical point of view, types of ethical codes. The importance of ethics is emphasized even at the stage of developing technical solutions: instead of eliminating problems, it is more expedient to try to avoid them.
We were hoping to find more courses to choose the best ones, but there weren’t that many. Do you know of a good affordable digital ethics course that didn’t make it here? It will be great if you share your recommendation in the comments!