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Spring 2023

7397 WRS: Law and Artificial Intelligence - SALIB- 23891

Professor(s): Peter Salib (FACULTY)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Practice Skills - (Research and Writing) 
Business and Commercial Law

Time: 2:30p-4:00p  MW  Location: 221 

Course Outline: What can artificially intelligent machines do? What should they do? This course will explore those two questions, especially as they relate to law and legal process. Already, artificial intelligences make many explicitly-legal decisions—for example, about pre-trial incarceration and policing. They also make many other decisions that, when humans make them, the law closely regulates. AI systems determine which candidates are interviewed for jobs, which applicants’ loans are approved, and what stocks hedge funds buy and sell.

Are these systems up to the job? Can they perform their assigned tasks competently and fairly? Or does their use generate systemic risks in the arenas where they operate? Even if they can perform these tasks, should we trust them? Or will AIs reproduce their human creators’ greatest flaws, acting unfairly and discriminatorily and thereby further entrenching already-dire social inequalities?

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes: (Face-to-Face)   The UH registration system instruction mode for this course is listed in parenthesis. After student registration opens, there may be instruction mode changes to this course up through two weeks before the first day of classes for the term, but notice of such changes will be sent to then-registered students. For this instruction mode, instructors and students are expected to normally be physically present in the classroom. If the course has a final examination, it will be in a classroom requiring your physical presence. Other assessment, such as a mid-term exam, may also be in a classroom. Whether this instructor will offer “remote presence” (starting a zoom meeting from the podium computer to enable student remote access on an occasional basis) for part or all of the semester is not known, but students should not rely on an expectation that remote presence will be available.



First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: Yes

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA: No

Pass-Fail Student Election: Conditional Availability (not for required credits)

Course Materials

Book(s) Required

Course Materials: You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It's Making the World a Weirder Place by Janelle Shane; available on Amazon and other sellers. Any format of the book is acceptable for this course. Paperback ISBN: 9780316525220.