4485 The Public Governance of Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Shefali Vidya Virkar
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/06/23 to 02/12/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 04/20/23 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM EA.5.030
Thursday 04/27/23 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.4.18
Thursday 05/04/23 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.4.18
Thursday 05/11/23 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.16
Wednesday 05/17/23 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.4.16

This course introduces students to a wide range of topics related to the development, deployment, and regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, with a focus on their application in public sector contexts. Key areas include:

  • An overview of AI technology and its potential applications in the public sector.
  • The ethical and societal implications of AI, including issues related to bias, transparency, and accountability.
  • The legal and regulatory frameworks that govern AI, including data protection laws, competition laws, and intellectual property laws.
  • The economic and social impacts of AI, including issues related to job displacement, inequality, and the future of work.
  • The use of AI in specific domains such as healthcare, law enforcement, transportation, and finance, and the unique challenges and opportunities presented by these areas.

The course also includes a practical component where the students will be exposed to current and relevant debates, case studies, and interactive activities.

Learning outcomes

Following the successful completion of this course, students will have developed:

  • Understanding of the key applications of AI in various areas of the public sector.
  • Knowledge of the legal and ethical considerations and regulations related to responsible AI design and deployment.
  • The ability to analyse and evaluate the potential benefits and challenges of AI in the public sector, and to identify opportunities for improvement and innovation.
  • Understanding of the role of government and public sector organizations in shaping the development and use of AI.
  • The ability to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the course to real-world problems and to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams to address complex challenges related to the use of public sector AI.
Attendance requirements

For the dates listed, a minimum of 80% attendance is required. If there is an important reason for missing a course, a maximum of 20% of the total duration of the course can be missed. In cases where cumulative absences amount to more than 20% of the total duration, the course must be retaken.  A valid confirmation (e.g. medical certificate) must be submitted for the absence over the MyLearn platform.

According to WU's examination regulations, important reasons are all those that are outside the student's disposition (illness, accident, death of a close relative). Professional obligations are not regarded as an important reason within the meaning of the examination regulations, since they are the responsibility of the students.

Teaching/learning method(s)
  • Input from course instructor
  • Individual and group work (in-class/homework)
  • Short presentations
  • Discussion and feedback

Grading Distribution (total 100%)

  • Individual Assessed Essay (30%)
  • Group Presentation (30%)
  • Open-Book Examination (40%)

Grading Scheme (total 100%):

  • 100-88 Excellent
  • 87-75 Good
  • 74-62 Satisfactory
  • 61-50 Sufficient
  • 49-0 Not sufficient

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Availability of lecturer(s)

By appointment via e-mail:

Last edited: 2023-04-13