Ethics and Philosophy of Computing                                                 


There is little denying that computers and the rapid development of the internet and other communication technologies are becoming increasingly important in all aspects of life and society. As IT-professionals, we are part of driving this paradigm shift. This course is about asking ourselves questions such as what the consequences of the technology we develop might be, how it affects society and what responsibility we ourselves have, as experts in the field.


Link to the full Course Description


The seminars are on Wednesdays 10.00 – 12.00 (with the exception below when we start at 9.00 as two people are presenting). Remember to circulate your text at least one week before your seminar so everybody has time to read it. Attendance to seminars is obligatory for those taking the course for credit. However, if you need to miss some seminar, just notify me in advance and I'll set you a small homework assignment instead.






Introduction [Slides]

Moa Johansson


Hacking, hacktivism and counterhacking. [Slides]

Guilhem Moulin


Superintelligence and Artificial Intelligence [Slides]

Inari Listenmaa


Privacy in Social Networks [Slides]

Raul Pardo


Ethical Interest in Free and Open Source Software [Slides]

Ivan Walulya



Email Spam [Slides]

File Sharing [Slides]

Behrooz Sanfchoolie

Madhavan Manivannan


Online Anonymity

Eugenio Massa


Intellectual Property [Slides]

Daniel Schoepe


Postponed, due to clash with Hamid’s licenciate.



Internet Censorship [Slides-Evgeny]

Evgeny Kotelnikov

Hamid Ebadi


Final Assignment Due.


What you need to do for your seminar

Š      Choose one (or two, depending on length) paper(s) or book chapter(s), and send a link to me so I can circulate to  the whole group for everybody to read before the seminar.

Š      Prepare a 30 minute presentation of your paper, summarising the main points.

Š      Prepare a few discussion questions about ethical or philosophical aspects related to your paper. If appropriate, link this to a news story (or several), there are quite a lot out there! Also circulate these before the seminar.

Š      During the seminar, you will chair the discussion, making sure everybody are given fair time to speak, and keeping it generally civilised :)

What you need to do for everybody else’s seminar

Course Google Group:

I will post announcements on this mailing list. Please feel free to also share links, discussions and other interesting material related to the course here.

Final Assignment

There will be a final written assignment, which is due on 1 July. You should write an essay of approximately 5-8 pages (including references) on a topic of your choice (presumably that of your seminar, but this is no requirement, you may change topics), taking into account your own opinions, opinions raised in related research papers and perhaps things that comes up in discussions during the seminars.  The purpose of the essay is not to say exactly the same things as in your seminar, but rather to go into a bit more depth in your own argumentation and probably including some more references. You may also want to connect it to your own research or research field. The essay is more about asking interesting questions and argue around them, you are not expected to have all the answers, open questions are fine too. 


Submit your essay to Moa by email (moa dot johansson at chalmers) with “FDAT065-Essay” as the subject.  After the deadline, you will be asked to read and comment on two other essays written by your peers.