From financial ventures to global warming to information security, concepts of risk are ubiquitous - how should we understand these concepts? In this course, looking at cases such as the Fukushima Daiichi disaster and certificate authority failures, we explain and apply concepts of risk and security. The emphasis is on developing scientifically well-grounded arguments and management strategies and exploring different perspectives on the topic.

This course will continue to develop several of the themes introduced in the Explorative course such as 21st Century challenges to Quality of Life, specifically focusing on health and medically-related challenges. We will investigate the ways in which engineering and technological innovation can contribute to solving or exacerbating the problems associated with these challenges. Students will also learn to identify, analyze, and resolve value conflicts that arise at the intersection of medical technology and research and well-being or happiness. To do so they will be introduced to methods of value sensitive design as well as other methods for problem solving. Therefore, this course will require students to exercise more creative problem solving and a greater degree of critical reasoning when examining QoL technology and the value conflicts that arise in that context. In this way, this course prepares students for the Projects course.

Robots increasingly work in our everyday social environment. This environment cannot be specified in detail beforehand, and changes constantly. Hence robots will autonomously have to construct an interpretation of their enviroment, as a basis for deciding how to carry out their tasks. This subject introduces students to the area of Artificial Intelligence, where many of the theories, methods and techniques on which the software controling autonomous robots is based come from.

This course first describes the emergence of the vision that robots will be broadly deployed in our society. Then we identify some key technical characteristics of robotics. What kind of machines are robots actually? What kinds of technologies are we discussing when we talk about robots? Subsequently, we look at some key social characteristics of robots, and we will discuss the ethical questions in the field of innovation and about social acceptance about robotics on the basis of robo-ethics.