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Syllabus for

Academic year
MVE420 - Emerging technologies, global risk and the future of humanity
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-13 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKTFY
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: First-cycle

The course is closed for further enrolments
Teaching language: Swedish
Maximum participants: 40

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0114 Project 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c    

In programs

MTS Humans, Technology, Society, Year 1 


Professor  Olle Häggström


MTS 7,5 hec

  Go to Course Homepage


In order to be eligible for a first cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme(s) that has the course included in the study programme.

Course specific prerequisites

No particular prerequisites are needed


New and emerging technologies have enormous potential for improving humanity's conditions and prosperity during coming centuries. At the same time, many of these technologies have potentially disastrous consequences for humanity if they are used unwisely. A problem is that tenchnological innovation is hard to predict in detail, so decisions will have to be made under uncertainty. Hence it is important to be able to reason under uncertainty about emerging technologies and the future of humanity. The aim of the course is to introduce some basic methods for systematic reasoning in this field. Several specific technologies are discussed, in order to obtain an overview. The course furthermore gives students the opportunity to go deeper into the prospects and consequences in some specific technology (of their own choice) with large potential consequences for the future of humanity.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Describe some potentially serious consequences of emerging technologies involving, e.g., advanced bioengineering, nanotechnology, IT and surveillance, geoengineering, energy and artificial intelligence Describe some basic method for rational decision making under uncertainty Give some arguments for and against society's ability to plan and (possibly) control technological development Explain why different choices of ethical framework can lead to different value statements concerning the future of humanity Report on risks and opportunities within some chosen area of technology


Opportunities and risks in connection with emerging technologies involving, e.g., advanced bioengineering, nanotechnology, IT and surveillance, geoengineering, energy and artificial intelligence. Factors affecting society's ability to plan and control these opportunities and risks. Rational decision making under uncertainty. Various ethical perspectives on the future.


Lectures, followed by a project which is reported orally and in writing.


Handouts during the course


An oral project presentation and a written project report

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.