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CM50272: Humans and Intelligent Machines

The unit description proposal for CM50272: Humans and Intelligent Machines.


Academic year 2018/19
Owning department Department of Computer Science
Credits 6
Notional study hours 120
Level FHEQ level 7
Period Semester 1
Assessment summary Coursework 100%
Supplementary assessment like-for-like reassessment


  • To give students an understanding of current theoretical, methodological and practical research issues around human interaction with robots and other computational intelligence.
  • To teach students relevant knowledge and skills related to the design, implementation, evaluation and management of systems involving humans and intelligent machines.
  • To raise students' awareness of ethical and related challenges and constraints around the coexistence and collaboration of humans and intelligent machines.
  • To give students experience of researching advanced topics in computer science, summarising the current state of the art, undertaking a relevant study and presenting the results.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this unit students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of current practice and developments in systems involving humans and intelligent machines
  • show awareness of intelligent systems design issues
  • critically evaluate examples of the design and deployment of intelligent systems
  • recognise and challenge advances in the state of the art of intelligent systems
  • design, conduct and critique original research to address questions and challenges in the design and use of systems involving humans and machine intelligence


  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Ability to reason analytically and scientifically about taught material
  • Ability to research, summarise and cogently debate state of the art literature


Course content will draw on a range of foundational and current issues in relevant areas. Examples of the topics include:

  • what is machine intelligence?
  • a systems approach to human-machine interaction
  • what aspects of humans and non-human agents should be considered in designing intelligent systems?
  • robots and diverse human needs, e.g. the young, the old, disabled people
  • active learning
  • ethics and safety of machine intelligence
  • Centaur AI and cyborgs

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