HUM-387 / 2 credits

Teacher: Lalive Rafael

Language: English


Artificial intelligence, big data, and advances in computing power have triggered a technological revolution that may have enormous bearing on the workplace and the labor market. This course provides you with tools to analyze these developments, and discuss their impact on our lives.



Artificial Intelligence, Technological Revolution, Ethics of Workplace Modifications, Embedded Systems,  Augmented Work


POLY-perspective :

  • interdisciplinary perspective
  • global perspective


Learning Prerequisites

Required courses


Recommended courses


Important concepts to start the course

Technological abilities to replace or augment work, Economics, Prediction. Basis of analysis and calculus to understand the complexity of different AI and ML algorithms.

Knowledge of structure and use computers and electronic systems, including smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, etc.


Learning Outcomes

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

  • Discuss augmentation and automation
  • Critique challenges for individuals, firms, and governments
  • Elaborate ethical challenges
  • Sketch basics of the digital transformation

Transversal skills

  • Assess one's own level of skill acquisition, and plan their on-going learning goals.
  • Summarize an article or a technical report.
  • Communicate effectively with professionals from other disciplines.

Teaching methods

  • Lecture
  • Class discussions

Expected student activities

  • Participate in process of knowledge creation
  • Discuss learnings from class
  • Write up summaries of topics


Assessment methods

All students:

  • Discussion (individual task): Participants submit a questionor a point for discussion on the class material before or after class on the Moodle forum. You submit at least 6 questions or inputs for the total of 12 units.
  • Essay (group task): Participants write a short essay/reflection paper of 900 (+/-10%) words in mixed groups of up to three individuals. Essays contain a summary of all the material for one topic, and a specialisation in two classes of the topic (e.g. topic technology, classes culture and artificial intelligence). Essays cover the learnings from the class. There is a total of three essays. Each essay will be graded.

In addition, UNIL students:

  • Synthesis (indivdiual task): UNIL students earn 3ECTS from this class and hand in a synthesis (of about 1200 words) of their insights from the class (which can be based on their three essays, established in groups).

Your total grade is the average of all grades you receive.


Office hours No
Assistants Yes
Forum Yes


Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)



  • Hummer, Bettina, AI: Legal and ethical challenges, chapter 4, in AI & the Future of work, 2019.
  • Mettler, T. and J. Wulf, Physiolytics at the Workplace: Affordances and Constraints of Wearables Use from an Employee's Perspective. Information Systems Journal, 2019. 29(1): p. 245-273.
  • Oesch, D. and Piccitto, G. (2019) The polarization myth: Occupational Upgrading in Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK, 1992-2015, Work and Occupations 46(4): 441¿469.
  • Steuer, Jonathan (1992), ¿Defining virtual reality: Dimensions determining telepresence,¿ Journal of Communication, 42 (4), 73¿93.
  • Waldfogel, J. (2017). How digitization has created a golden age of music, movies, books, and television. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(3), 195-214.
  • Zuboff, S., The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. 2019, London: Profile Books.


Références suggérées par la bibliothèque

Moodle Link

In the programs

  • Semester: Spring
  • Exam form: During the semester (summer session)
  • Subject examined: How technology shapes the workplace of the future
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Semester: Spring
  • Exam form: During the semester (summer session)
  • Subject examined: How technology shapes the workplace of the future
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks

Reference week