HUM-333 / 2 credits

Teacher: Ienca Marcello

Language: English

Remark: Une seule inscription à un cours SHS+MGT autorisée. En cas d'inscriptions multiples elles seront toutes supprimées sans notification


This course examines key technological developments and challenges from an ethical and policy perspective. The primary aim of this course is to get students to think critically about the ethical-social dimensions of technology, taking into account both normative and applied ethics questions.



ethics, bioethics, neuroethics, technology assessment, artificial intelligence, societal implications, technology policy, technology governance, science and society

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses


Important concepts to start the course

Curiosity, respect for other people's views, and willingness to change one's moral beliefs based on logic and evidence.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Assess / Evaluate systematically the risk & benefits of a certain technological innovation in a certain domain of application.
  • Discriminate the potential for unethical use or misuse of technology
  • Assess / Evaluate technological innovation into a broader societal perspective which also takes into account its cultural impacts, issues of equity of distribution and access to knowledge, and on the rights of individuals
  • Discuss considerations surrounding technological innovation in a global society.
  • Anticipate ethically-aligned technological solutions

Transversal skills

  • Communicate effectively with professionals from other disciplines.
  • Respect relevant legal guidelines and ethical codes for the profession.
  • Take feedback (critique) and respond in an appropriate manner.

Teaching methods

Lectures and interactive seminars

Expected student activities

  • Analyse d'une étude de cas
    Discussion de groupe
    Évaluation des risques et des avantages
    Simulation du Comité d'examen éthique
    Courtes présentations

Assessment methods

  • Group presentations
  • Short essay


Office hours Yes
Assistants Yes
Forum No



  • Floridi, L. (2019). Establishing the rules for building trustworthy AI. Nature Machine Intelligence, 1(6), 261-262.
  • Gebru, T. (2020). Race and gender. In The Oxford handbook of ethics of AI, 251-269.
  • Greely, H. T. (2021). CRISPR People: The Science and Ethics of Editing Humans. MIT Press (extracts only).
  • Ienca, M., & Andorno, R. (2017). Towards new human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology. Life sciences, society and policy13(1), 1-27.
  • Ienca, M., Pollicino, O., Liguori, L., Andorno, R., & Stefanini, E. (2022). Cambridge Handbook of Information Technology, Life Sciences and Human Rights. Cambridge University Press (selected chapters).
  • Jonas, H. (1982). Technology as a Subject for Ethics. Social Research, 891-898.
  • Levy, N. (2007). Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st century. Cambridge University Press (extracts only).
  • Sandel, M. J. (2007). The case against perfection: Ethics in the age of genetic engineering. Harvard university press (extracts only).
  • Savulescu, J., & Bostrom, N. (Eds.). (2009). Human enhancement. OUP Oxford (selected chapters).
  • Susser, D., Roessler, B., & Nissenbaum, H. (2019). Online manipulation: Hidden influences in a digital world. Geo. L. Tech. Rev.4, 1.
  • Tegmark, M. (2017). Life 3.0: Being human in the age of artificial intelligence. Knopf (extracts only).
  • Veliz, C. (2020). Privacy is power. Random House Australia (extracts only).
  • Zou, J., & Schiebinger, L. (2018). AI can be sexist and racist: it's time to make it fair. Nature.
  • Zuboff, S. (2015). Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization. Journal of information technology30(1), 75-89.

Ressources en bibliothèque

In the programs

  • Semester: Fall
  • Number of places: 80
  • Exam form: During the semester (winter session)
  • Subject examined: Ethics of emerging technologies
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Semester: Fall
  • Number of places: 80
  • Exam form: During the semester (winter session)
  • Subject examined: Ethics of emerging technologies
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks

Reference week

13-14 MED01418   

Tuesday, 13h - 15h: Lecture MED01418