Intelligent systems, often referred to as artificial intelligence or robots, are all around us – in our phones, cars, homes and cities. We use them on a daily basis and they shape our lives, interactions and decisions.   Gmail suggests automatic responses depending on the emails we get, our car decides on the route that we should take or Youtube recommends what we should watch next. Intelligent systems help us improve healthcare delivery, information access and public safety. However, the same systems are affecting our sense of free will, fairness and responsibility. They cause a unique set of social and ethical conundrums for us humans which is detrimental if not addressed. In this course, we will explore:

  • What is artificial intelligence (Youtube Algorithm, Facebook news feed). What is a robot (drones, autonomous vehicles)? What are the basic working principles behind them?
  • How do intelligent systems shift decision making power? How does social media control what information we see on daily basis? How does our autonomous vehicle decide who to save in case of an unavoidable accident?
  • Are intelligent systems fair? Do they reinforce our biases in a systematic way? If so, how can we change that?
  • How should we move forward as a society to ensure that the intelligent systems that we design benefit humanity rather than harm us?

The course will have a significant hands on/project component and will cover the topics via relevant case studies The goal is to get to engage with these topics in a fun, interactive and informative way. At the end of the day, these problems will only get more relevant in the next few decades.



Your Teacher – Shalaleh Rismani

Shalaleh was born in Iran and moved to Canada in her early teens. She has lived most of her life in Vancouver, but spent a significant amount of time traveling during her studies at UBC. Shalaleh fell in love with the problem-solving embedded in math and physics at an early age. That passion translated itself into receiving her BASc in mechatronics engineering and exploring the dynamics of technology and society during her masters in biomedical engineering. Shalaleh cares deeply about creating a real connection with her students and teaching them the basis of problem-solving.  When not at BrainBoost, she can be found working on her start-up in the field of artificial intelligence and robot ethics, choreographing folk dances, reading, spending time with her nephew or re-watching Harry Potter series.


How much does it cost?

When is it?
Fridays 1:00-3:00 pm

What are the dates?
Full Year: Sept. 3 – June 12

What ages is it appropriate for?
14 – 19

What credits can be earned?
ADST 12 – Remotely Operated Vehicles and Drones

Contact us to sign up

To be eligible for credit for this class, students must be enrolled in an accredited distance learning program.
For full details on our cancellation policy, please our Payment & Cancellation Policy page.