LAW, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - 2023/4

Module code: LAW3147

Module Overview

This module explores the major legal and regulatory issues associated with the development and us use of artificial intelligence and other technologies across various sectors, such as financial, healthcare, transportation, and military sectors. Artificial intelligence is considered as a broad discipline with the goal of creating intelligent machines that emulate and then exceed the full range of human cognition. The module will focus on various subsets of AI, such as generative AI, machine learning, unsupervised learning, and their respected legal, regulatory, and ethical challenges based on real case studies and theoretical literature. In addition to AI, the module will explore the legal and regulatory issues associated with the development and use of autonomy, privacy-preserving technologies, blockchain, and quantum computing. Autonomy is defined as the ability of a system to act independently from a human operator. The module will focus on the application of autonomy in various systems, especially in the context of autonomous weapon systems. Further, privacy preserving technologies are newer technologies such as confidential computing, federated learning, synthetic data, or homomorphic encryption that allow to compute on data while preserving fundamental principles of privacy. This module will explore the application of selected privacy-enhancing technologies in various applications, e.g. the use of federated learning in healthcare to collect and commercialise medical data from hospitals or the use of confidential computing for sensitive data sharing across various organisations. Blockchain is a special type of privacy preserving technology based on a decentralized, distributed, and often public, digital ledger which facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets. The module will explore various governance models of blockchain and their legal implications. Finally, quantum technology is a class of technology that works by using the principles of quantum mechanics to gain a functionality or performance which is otherwise unattainable. The module will discuss the role of law and regulation in the current and future development and application of quantum technologies.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

FIRLEJ Mikolaj (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Seminar Hours: 33

Guided Learning: 7

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Indicative content includes:

¿ Introduction to Law and Technology
¿ Near-term and long-term Risks of AI and the Role of Regulation
¿ Algorithmic Fairness
¿ Automated Judging
¿ The Impact of New Technologies on the Labour Market
¿ Responsibility and Accountability Gap
¿ Moral Disengagement and Human Dignity
¿ Regulation of Privacy Preserving Technologies: Blockchain, Confidential Computing
¿ Quantum Tech and the Future of Security

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3000 word coursework 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

¿ Knowledge and understanding of topics covered in seminars
¿ Understand the law of emerging technologies
¿ Reasoned analysis
¿ Evaluation and synthesis of the wider social/moral/ethical context
¿ Analytical ability to draw appropriate conclusions, based upon analysis of the issues raised by the questions.
¿ Critical engagement in scholarly debate
¿ Effective critical self-reflection
¿ Ability to link theory to practice

The coursework assessment method addresses all learning outcomes listed above.

Summative Assessment:
3000 word coursework

Formative assessment

Topic Essay ¿ 1000 word coursework


Feedback

Feedback on topic essay ¿ written feedback and individual oral feedback as requested.

Students will be provided with opportunities to receive written and oral feedback mid-semester in order to support and prepare them for the summative assessment. Students are provided with writing skills additional guidance. The assessments are designed to give students the opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking and a deep level of knowledge and understanding. Students reflect on their own work and the skills and qualities acquired, such as collaboration, communication, professionalism, teamwork, digital literacy skills, and the methodology used when designing and giving presentations, linking theory to practice and enhancing important transferable skills of independent and life-long learning required for future employment.

Module aims

  • Explore the law relating to emerging technologies
  • Evaluate how AI and automated technologies can be used to solve social and legal problems
  • Critically assess the social, legal and economic implications of AI and other technologies
  • Examine the moral and ethical issues related to the development and use of AI and other technologies
  • Highlight the transformation in digitisation of the law and the way law firms operate in the 21st century

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the law of new technologies, its sources, its content, and its subject-matter CKP
002 Appreciate and critically engage in discussions scholarly regarding the relationship between various technologies and their legal and regulatory issues CKP
003 Explain how balances are struck between various legal, ethical, economical, and societal considerations CKPT
004 Assess and evaluate current proposed and recently implemented legal reforms CKP
005 Engage with complex legal problems and scholarly questions drawing upon relevant primary and secondary legal authorities CKPT
006 Gather and analyse relevant information and use them to form and articulate independent conclusions CPT
007 Assess the strengths and weaknesses of arguments CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

¿ The module adopts a problem-based learning methodology to develop deep learning and independent study. The course aims to equip law students with a broad set of knowledge and skills by providing them with an opportunity to explore and understand how the law responds to and shapes technological innovation. During seminars students will be expected to demonstrate a number of professional skills including their ability to apply their research to discuss given legal problems, to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and proposing solutions to such problems, and to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in relevant areas.

¿ The module is delivered through interactive seminars with a clinical element, in the form of a
practical project-based experience, which enables students to work in teams and demonstrate digital capabilities relevant to the legal profession. Students consider how innovations in law and technology can be used to solve problems and consider a variety of questions and issues.

¿ The teaching strategy is also designed to encourage independent study and research. Students will be provided with preliminary reading references but will be expected to undertake additional research into each topic under their own steam. Students will have the opportunity to use the research and reading skills they developed in their previous years of study, in particular as part of the legal systems module. Independent study is meant to help students take charge of their learning, and as a result enhance their resilience, particularly developing independence and proactivity.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3147

Other information

The School of Law is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas: Employability: The knowledge, understanding, qualities and skills that are developed through module seminars, the project and assessments, provide students with the opportunity to develop important transferable skills required for future employment and professional identity, such as digital lawyering skills, teamwork, collaboration, adaptability, cooperation, resilience, presentation skills, oral and written communication skills, cooperation and time-management skills. Digital Capabilities: This module considers how innovations in law and technology can be used to solve problems. Students develop digital literacy skills and digital innovation through the project-based experience during the planning and design stages leading to presentations, and through the interactive seminars group work when adopting the use of online learning. Students develop analytical skills to solve complex problems, developing an understanding of both the theoretical and practical implications of technology and the law. Global and Cultural Capabilities: This module allows students to gain global and cultural awareness, such as the risks associated with AI or cryptocurrencies and the difficulties faced by national and international regulators in trying to control their use. Students will discuss the impact of international law and global financial system on the regulation of such technological innovations. Students acquire an insight into the global social, legal and economic implications of emerging technologies. Sustainability: This module examines revolutionary and controversial solutions for conducting business transactions. Students examine whether technology systems create a sufficiently robust, ethical and sustainable solution and explore the moral and ethical issues related to automated legal advice tools. Students will reflect on the ensuing impact of the digital economy, the wider business community and legal profession, taking account of the unprecedented transformation in the digitisation of the law and the way law firms operate in the 21st century. Resourcefulness and Resilience: Law students will develop resourcefulness and resilience through embracing academic opportunities and the methodology adopted in this module. Students will engage in peer review exercises and actively participate during interactive seminars and assume responsibility to improve their learning, and, working in groups, the context is organized around scenarios to develop a high level of analytical skills. The module seminars, assessment and project encourage students to think critically and to carry out research to address complex issues. This develops students¿ approach to deeper level of understanding and independent learning. The critical self-reflection assessment is designed with a view to students demonstrating a deep level of critical self-reflection of one¿s own work and the skills and qualities acquired.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.