Beyond IQ

I’m Alive!: Self-Aware Robots and Artificial Intelligence in Media

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Instructor:
Sabrina Weiss
5-10 students
Suggested Age Ranges: 13-18 (Mature themes and media)
Meets: tbd, 14-16 weeks

Course Description

This course will explore questions about what it means to be a person and whether artificial beings can be people through media like movies and television shows. By watching and discussing movies in context (social, historical, cultural), we will learn about how people portray these beings and open conversations of both wonder and concern, and we will examine our own reactions to these portrayals. We will explore how these different beings are defined and categorized and look at the real world history of their development and use. At the end of the course, you will get to choose a piece of media (movie, TV show, book, etc) to analyse and share with the class.

Sample Syllabus Topics: 

Introduction: Who are we talking about? 

Defining robots, androids, and, artificial intelligence, what is self-awareness?

Watch & Discuss: Short Circuit 1

Watch & Discuss: Short Circuit 2

Robots: a media history 

Artificial Intelligence

Watch & Discuss: Wall-E

Watch & Discuss: Bicentennial Man

Watch & Discuss: TNG, “Measure of a Man”

Watch & Discuss: VOY, “Author, Author” 

The future of our creations 

Student project 


Final Projects: 

All: choose another piece of media to watch/read and examine. 


1) Present it

2) Write a short story from the perspective of a character in that media piece that is not used in the original.

3) Design your own



Movie list (tentative) 

Short Circuit 1

Short Circuit 2

Bicentennial Man 


TV List (tentative)

“The Measure of a Man” - Star Trek: The Next Generation 

“Author, Author” - Star Trek: Voyager


Optional list

Blade Runner 

Ghost in the Shell 

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence 

Short Circuit 1

Battlestar Galactica (2004) - select episodes

2001: A Space Odyssey

Frankenstein


Register for I'm Alive! here!  
(coming soon)

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