AI in Society
Course · 15 credits
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be understood as systems which show intelligent behaviour by analysing their environment and with some degree of autonomy act to reach certain goals. In colloquial language, AI has become an umbrella term for information technology, robotics, and digitalisation more broadly, including machine learning techniques enabling computers to improve themselves.
AI can do much good in society. Applications of AI in society include self-driving cars, financial trading networks, bots used in search engines, computer game players, image recognition, and generation of text. AI can be helpful in our everyday lives: in health care to make diagnoses, with apps for self-care, for credit ratings, in spam filters, to assist the police in combating crime, or to support the insurance companies with risk assessments. AI can also be helpful to solve severe challenges such as treatment of chronical diseases, reducing traffic accidents, fighting climate change, or predict cyber security threats. Although AI development has a history from the 1950s onwards, at the moment we are in the middle of a radical expansion of AI technology, making it hard to foresee possible new AI applications even in the near future.
But AI development also gives rise to concerns about negative consequences for society and for individuals. In science fiction, a common theme has long been that of the intelligent robot outsmarting humans and taking over the world. Although such a scenario is a topic also in academia, most researchers do not regard general superintelligence an immediate threat, or a threat at all. More urgent issues are about effects of AI on humans and society here and now. Automation processes could lead to job losses and to changes of the working conditions that strike hardest on marginalised people. Machine learning processes relying on big data might reinforce biases and prejudices inherent in the data. Self-improving machines make decisions on grounds that could be difficult to discern, even for the programmers behind the algorithms. Micro-targeted political advertisements and ‘fake news’ in social media platforms can distort democratic deliberation and everyday talk. Other questions include: How could we assess fairness and issues of responsibility in automated systems? What are the effects on democracy and accountability of AI expert systems advising policy-makers? How could we make sure that participation in policy processes on AI not only include technical AI experts but are inclusive and representative? How should responsible polities handle the fact that authoritarian regimes develop AI systems that could harm people worldwide? We need a responsible and ethical AI, but it is far from self-evident which morality should be guiding, or how this should be decided. These and other concerns regarding AI in society call for social science to take an active role in the development of AI.
Further information: master [at] sam [dot] lu [dot] se
More information can be found at https://www.graduateschool.sam.lu.se/academics/course-catalogue/profile-and-elective-courses/autumn-term-courses/ai-society-sims40
Requirements and selection
To be eligible for the course the student must have 150 credits including a graded thesis for the degree of Bachelor, or a completed major, in the Social Sciences, or another equivalent subject.
Oral and written proficiency in English equivalent to English 6/B (advanced) from Swedish upper secondary school is a requirement. International qualifications will be assessed in accordance with national guidelines.
Seats are allocated according to: Previous college/university studies (APAV): 100 %.
English language requirements
Most of Lund University’s programmes require English Level 6 (unless otherwise stated under 'Entry requirements'). This is the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90. There are several ways to prove your English language proficiency – check which proof is accepted at the University Admissions in Sweden website. All students must prove they meet English language requirements by the deadline, in order to be considered for admission.
Check if there are any country-specific eligibility rules for you to study Master's studies or Bachelor's studies in Sweden.
How to apply
Lund University uses a national application system run by University Admissions in Sweden. It is only possible to apply during the application periods.
Step 1: Apply online
- Check that you meet the entry requirements of the programme or course you are interested in (refer to the section above on this webpage).
- Start your application – go to the University Admissions in Sweden website where you create an account and select programmes/courses during the application period.
Visit the University Admissions in Sweden website
- Rank your programme/course choices in order of preference and submit them before the application deadline.
Step 2: Submit documents
- Read about how to document your eligibility and how to submit your documents at the University Admissions in Sweden website. Follow any country-specific document rules for Master's studies or Bachelor's studies
Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies – universityadmissions.se
Country-specific requirements for Master's studies – universityadmissions.se
- Get all your documents ready:
- official transcripts and high school diploma (Bachelor's applicants)
- official transcripts and degree certificate or proof of expected graduation (Master's applicants)
- passport/ID (all applicants) and
- proof of English proficiency (all applicants).
- Prepare programme-specific documents if stated in the next paragraph on this webpage.
- Upload or send all required documents to University Admissions before the document deadline.
- Pay the application fee (if applicable – refer to the section below on this webpage) before the document deadline.
* Note that the process is different if you are applying as an exchange student or as a part of a cooperation programme (such as Erasmus+).
* If you have studied your entire Bachelor's programme in Sweden and all of your academic credits are in Ladok, you do not have to submit transcripts or your diploma when applying for a Master's programme. However, there may still be other documents you need to submit! See the link below.
* Svensk student?
Läs instruktionerna om att söka till ett internationellt masterprogram på lu.se
Full programme/course tuition fee: SEK 27 500
First payment: SEK 27 500
Citizens of a country outside of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees. You pay one instalment of the tuition fee in advance of each semester.
EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland
There are no tuition fees for citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
If you are required to pay tuition fees, you are generally also required to pay an application fee of SEK 900 (approximately EUR 100) when you apply at the University Admissions in Sweden website. You pay one application fee regardless of how many programmes or courses you apply to.
*Note that there are no tuition or application fees for exchange students or PhD students, regardless of their nationality.
Scholarships & funding
Lund University Global Scholarship programme
The Lund University Global Scholarship programme is a merit-based and selective scholarship targeted at top academic students from countries outside the EU/EEA.
Swedish Institute Scholarships
The Swedish Institute offers scholarships to international students applying for studies in Sweden at Bachelor's, Master's, PhD and post-doctoral levels.
Country-specific scholarships and funding options
Lund University has agreements with scholarship organisations and funding bodies in different countries, which may allow applicants to apply for funding or scholarships in their home countries for their studies at Lund University.
- Scholarships/funding for students from Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Russia and Chile, among other countries
- US student finance
- Canada student finance