ArtificiaI Intelligence and societal impact

Behaviour and society

About this minor

Are you ready to be coached in the discovery of unfamiliar perspectives, the challenges and opportunities of AI for society?
Artificial Intelligence is seen as potentially both beneficial and detrimental to society. Behind the hype and hopes for its applications is a widely shared recognition that AI is increasingly transforming the world we live in. The reliance on AI raises a number of possible opportunities and concerns in relation to society, which will be explored in this minor.
While AI's applications are technical, they are also profoundly social. As such a holistic approach is crucial to understanding both AI and our changing society. This minor therefore incorporates discussions from multiple fields, touching on for example ethics, computer science and culture. It will give you the vocabulary, knowledge and various perspectives needed to grasp and analyse AI in relation to society.

The main objectives of this minor is for you to:

  1. understand the technical side of AI
  2. familiarise yourself with different perspectives on AI
  3. develop a critical attitude towards AI in relation to society

Learning outcomes

  • basic AI principles
  • the technical underpinning of AI
  • different perspectives on AI in society

Aside from teaching you about AI, this minor also focuses on cultivating competencies and character. It aims to instil:
A stronger sense of (social) responsibility

  • Skills in essayistic writing and thinking
  • A familiarity with model-thinking
  • Engagement in discussion

The outcomes above will be fostered via an educational approach that focuses on personal development, space for academic growth and lectures from academics active in various fields. You will engage with a variety of perspectives on AI by interactive seminars, exposure to the basic building blocks of AI development and exciting guest lectures/workshops. Ultimately you will be expected to reach a foundational level of insight into the relation between AI and your field of study, but also a basic level of insight into other areas.
(1) The seminars are divided in three themes: health, public domain and work. Every theme last three weeks and you will delve into them through seminars and short concept clips. The seminars will be mainly focussed on discussion, so reading literature is key.
(2) Exposure to the technical side of AI happens in weekly workshops, in which students tinker away at AI. This hands-on approach enables a better understanding of both the technique and concepts relevant to AI; this is thus not ‘just’ a technical seminar nor an abstract one, it is a place where through the technical the theoretical come to life and vice versa.
(3) There are also incidental activities, such as guest lectures or more extensive workshops. Below you will find a selection of our guests and activities:

  • The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Institute (AI and Robotics Centre)
  • Workshop on essayistic writing and ChatGPT
  • Workshop on AI and climate

Visit to a data centre in Rotterdam

Good to know

Prior knowledge on and experience in the field of AI is not required, but a critical and creative outlook on the subject is encouraged. Those with prior knowledge and experience will be challenged accordingly.

Teaching method and examination

Educational materials for example include plug-and-play games, case studies, literature and videos.
At the end of every theme (i.e. every three weeks) there will be a graded assessment.

Mid-course there will be two assessments consisting of an essay and a reflection on ChatGPT. These assessments are not graded, but must be handed in to continue the course. You will receive feedback on your work.

At the end of the course there will be two graded assignments: an essay and a data challenge. The former is an individual and the latter a group assignment.

Week 3 assessment: 10%
Week 6 assessment: 10%
Week 9 assessment: 10%
Essay: 40 %
Data challenge: 30%

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection minor
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Erasmus University.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      8 November 2024
    • Term *
      Block MINOR
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      15 May, 13:00 - 15 Jul 2024
These offerings are valid for students of Leiden University