Artificial Intelligence

NB This is a living document and will be updated, augmented, and improved during the semester.

Practical Information

  1. It is your responsibility to do the exercises you need to do to understand the subject and gain experience.
  2. There are some compulsory assignments, but they do not cover the complete material that you will need to study.
  3. Attendance is compulsory for most (read all) sessions in the second half of the semester (exact date TBA). See under compulsory assignments.
  4. Feedback is provided in class upon demonstration of own work and solutions. This includes approval of coursework.
  5. The module emphasises a broad and relational understanding, consolidating theory, practice (programming), and philosophy (incl. ethics)

How to work with the module

  1. Read the theory.
  2. Do practical exercises to test your theoretical understanding
  3. Evaluate your own solutions and reflect upon
    • what have you learnt from the exercise?
    • what do you yet not know?
  4. Engage in the philosophical questions. Discuss with your classmates.
  5. Don’t try to do a lot of exercises quickly. It is better to make sure that you comprehend a few exercises fully, and can justify and validate your own reasoning.
  6. Ask Questions.
    I will generally not repeat material unsolicited, but I am very happy to discuss any question you may have.
  7. Keep a diary. Make sure you can refer back to previous ideas and reuse previous solutions.

Compulsory Assignments

There will be two compulsory assignments

Programming and Problem Solving

For the first five weeks, we will work mainly on search and optimisation algorithms, including problem solving through programming. At the end of these weeks, you will have to submit

  1. an action-reflection note, where you discuss what you have learnt from each program submitted and why the problem/solution is interesting in view of the syllabus. This should be about ½-1 page.
  2. solutions to two selected problems on CodinGame (at least medium difficulty) or from pai-exercises.

Make sure to put the reflection note first in the document, so that it is easy to find and read. After submission, you have to show the program working and discuss the code with me face to face.

Deadline 26 February 11:59pm

If you submit early, please also ask for feedback early. I shall also be happy to give feedback twice, but preferably then on different problems. The purpose of the exercise is to establish an opportunity to discuss your work, not to fail anyone.

The material must be submitted in BlackBoard and demonstrated in person one-to-one with the teacher, usually during the first session after the deadline. Formative feedback and approval is given face to face. (In case of absence under mitigating circumstances, it is possible to do this in a later session.)

Learning Outcomes Programming skills. Knowledge of Fundamental Algorithms. Problem Solving Competency.

Literature, Presentation, and Debate

Deadline Declare group and topic by midnight end of Sunday 5 March.

The second compulsory assignment is a verbal debate. I prepare a list of Questions or topics, with associated reading lists.

  1. You select a topic. You are not limited to the published list. If you have an idea on your own, please discuss it with me.
  2. Read some literature and prepare an introduction to the topic.
  3. Present the topic to class, and engage in discussion.
  4. You may work individually or in pairs, but if you work in pairs, please present opposing positions and arguments.

Panel debates is a good format for this exercise, where two students prepare opposing positions on some controversial question. Both technical and philosophical papers and topics may occur, but there will be an emphasis on philosophical questions.

Compulsory Attendance not only for you own presentation, but also when others present. One absence over the six or seven weeks we have this exercise is permitted.

Learning Outcomes Ability to read and interpret research papers. Verbal presentation skills. Ability to engage in peer discussions within the discipline. Awareness of the ethical concerns within AI.

How does the exam work

  1. Oral Exam.
  2. You get seven minutes to demonstrate the highlights of your understanding of the subject. Make a case for the grade you think you deserve.
  3. The examiner will use the rest of the time for questions to clarify and to demonstrate expected breadth and depth.
  4. Note that there are both theoretical, practical, and philosophical learning outcomes, and the module emphasises the relation between these three.


The core syllabus consists of

  1. The lectures and taught sessions.
  2. All learning material provided.
  3. TBC Core reading (session numbers may change)
    • Sessions 1-6: Russel & Norvig, Chapters 1-4 + 6
    • Sessions 7-9: Haupt & Haupt, Chapter 1-4
    • Session 10: Russel & Norvig Chapter 19 TBC
    • Sessions 11-13: Russel & Norvig Chapters 16 and 23
    • Session 14: Russel & Norvig Chapters 28-29

Note that the propositional knowledge that you can find well-defined in the textbooks only forms a part of this module. We will also study the tacit skills of problem solving and the ethical and philosophical dilemmas of intelligence, artificial or otherwise. This requires broader reading and more thinking on your part. A Reading List is provided and will be developed as we go along.