Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence

Helsinki Summer School 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kindly note that Helsinki Summer School 2021 will not be arranged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


This course is intended for MA and MSc students, doctoral students and professionals in relevant disciplines (cognitive science, philosophy, linguistics, language technology, computer science, mathematics, phonetics, digital humanities, cognitive psychology, social psychology).


On the course on the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence (AI), students are introduced to contemporary philosophical discussion on AI.

This interdisciplinary course focuses on three main issues:
(i) the state of art in current AI, and its philosophical, including ethical, interpretation,
(ii) the cognitive aspects of AI and their broader implications, and
(iii) the questions of intelligibility, explainability and accountability of AI from a philosophical and cognitive point of view.

The excursions provide an opportunity for the students to learn how, exactly, AI researchers do their research and how AI researchers themselves see the development of the field.


The course is led by Dr Anna-Mari Rusanen (University of Helsinki) and docent Otto Lappi (University of Helsinki), both specialists in philosophy of AI and Cognitive Science. Moreover, the course will include lectures given by leading international and national experts on philosophy of artificial intelligence, and computer, cognitive and data scientists (UH & FCAI). 


After the course completion, the students have learned the basic concepts and theories of current philosophy of AI, and are able to apply philosophical methods for analysing the development of AI. Students can form their own arguments, and support them with philosophically evaluated evidence from various sources.


The course contains lectures, group exercises and discussions, excursions, group work, independent assignments and studying, and an exam. The lectures and coursework are given by researchers based at the Department of Digital Humanities; Computer and Data Sciences; and at the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI).


The students will be assessed based on their participation in the course lectures (10%), in-class assignments (20%), completed individual assignments (20%), and the final exam (50%).

The grading scale of the exam is:
5 = excellent
4 = very good
3 = good
2 = average
1 = poor
0 = fail


City Centre Campus

Course schedule: to be updated


Prior to the course, students are expected to read two relevant research articles (provided before the course begins) and write a short analytic essay based on them. We will also utilise Moodle´s already existing teaching materials and, for example, the course 'Elements of AI', when necessary.

Participants will also be asked to provide a short description of their own academic background, to explain their interest in this course, and to indicate their expectations regarding this course.

These assignments must be completed and submitted one week before the start of classes. Also, there will be other reading tasks during the course.