Science, Technology and Humanity: Opportunities and Risks

Master's Program in Cognitive Science, Comenius University in Bratislava

Last modification: Apr 4, 2024

Summer semester 2023/24


Time: Thursday 16:30-18:00 lecture, 18:05-18:50 seminar 

Place: lecture hall C



doc. RNDr. Martin Tak, PhD., Centre for Cognitive Science, room  I-37, t a k a c (at) i i . f m p h . u n i b a . s k

Ing. PhDr. Tom Gl, PhD., Centre for Cognitive Science, room I-33bc  t o m a s . g a l (at) u n i b a . s k

Credits: 5

Learning outcome

The students will gain awareness of the contemporary and potential future challenges posed by scientific
and technological innovations and their impact on human behaviour, culture and society


You can see your progress here:

1. Semester activities: active participation in the seminar (60%)
2. Final evaluation: colloquial presentation of the selected topic (40%)


0-50% Fx
51-60% E
61-70% D
71-80% C
81-90% B
91-100% A


Topic Seminar Reading Supplementary Resources (optional) Notes
Feb 22
Introduction (MT) none
Feb 29
Values in humans and machines (MT) L. Floridi et al.: An Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations. Minds and Machines, December 2018.

Mar 7

Big data: bias, privacy, politics and power (MT)

W. Youyou, M. Kosinski, D. Stillwell: Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans. PNAS 112(4), 2015.

Excerpt from Grienfield, A. (2017): Radical Technologies (Supplemental text)
Mar  14

Job market and inequality (TG)

S. Russell: Eliminating work as we know it. In: Human Compatible. Penguin Random House, 2019 (p. 113-124).
Mar 21

Internet of things (TG)

All off, F., Henschke, A. (2018): The Internet of Things: Foundational ethical issues. Internet of Things 1-2, p. 55-66
  • S. K. Jagatheesaperumal, Q. -V. Pham, R. Ruby, Z. Yang, C. Xu and Z. Zhang, "Explainable AI Over the Internet of Things (IoT): Overview, State-of-the-Art and Future Directions," in IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society, vol. 3, pp. 2106-2136, 2022, doi: 10.1109/OJCOMS.2022.3215676. keywords: {Internet of Things;Artificial intelligence;Data models;Medical services;Industrial Internet of Things;Predictive models;Ethics;Artificial intelligence;deep learning;explainability;Internet of Things;machine learnin},
  • A. Abo Bakr and M. A. Azer (2017): "IoT ethics challenges and legal issues," 2017 12thInternational Conference on Computer Engineering and Systems (ICCES), Cairo, pp. 233-237
  • Rane, Nitin and Choudhary, Saurabh and Rane, Jayesh, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) Based Sensors for Monitoring and Controlling in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction: Applications, Challenges, and Opportunities (November 20, 2023). Available at SSRN:

Mar 28

no class!

6. Apr 4

Affective Computing (TG)

Leahu, L. & Segners, P. (2014): Freaky: Performing Hybrid Human-Machine Emotion. In: DIS '14: Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Designing interactive systems, p.607-616.
Apr 11

Assistant AI and its place in future society (MT)

R. Sparrow: Virtue and Vice in Our Relationships with Robots: Is There an Asymmetry and How Might it be Explained? International Journal of Social Robotics, 2020.

Apr 18 no lecture (Student science conference)


8. self-study!
watch the lecture online

Hybridization between species and between AI and organic minds (J. Benko)

Specter, M. (2016) How the DNA Revolution Is Changing Us
Apr 25

Artificial minds, artificial persons (MT)

J. Bryson: Robots Should Be Slaves in: Y. Wilks (ed.): Close Engagements with Artificial Companions: Key Social, Psychological, Ethical and Design Issues. John Benjamins, 2010.

May 2

Enhancements and human rights, the right to change self and others (TG)

Lamaze A. (2019) Transcranial electrical stimulation for human enhancement and the risk of inequality: Prohibition or compensation?  
11. May 9

Superintelligence, singularity and after-human era (MT)

Chollet, F. (2017) The implausibility of intelligence explosion
May 16

Future of minds and transhumanism (TG)

Vita-Moran, N.: History of Transhumanism. In N. Lee (ed.): The Transhumanism Handbook. Springer, 2019.



Assessment details

Semester Activities

Student will acrue points for attending seminars. They are expected to actively participate in discussions of use cases and/or other seminar activities. Ongoing evaluation can be checked here

Colloquial presentation

Participants will choose a topic related to the course and prepare a presentation for their fellow students and teachers. It is necessary to sent the presentation slides (ideally pdf) to both teachers by email at least one day before the colloquium. Presentation should be relevant to the course topic, based on scientific knowledge and contain a list of references. Each student will present it orally (10 min) to the class during the colloquium.

Colloquium will take place during the examination period. Dates will be announced in due time (sign up for a term via AIS).