55048 The Artificial Intelligence Economy: Business, Governance, and Society in the Age of Algorithms

We are entering an age of transformational technologies driven by artificial intelligence (AI). Advances in computer science and robotics create machines that can drive, diagnose, build, and “think”. AI promises new conveniences, more efficient production, and material and cultural bounty. Technology will also fundamentally change manufacturing processes and services delivery, potentially eliminating jobs and increasing inequality. These effects are likely to accelerate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless properly managed, the AI economy may create deep economic and political conflict between its beneficiaries and those left behind. Left unchecked, these divisions threaten crises to governance, global capitalism, and geopolitics.

This course surveys the AI economy and its potential implications for firms, governments, and society. We assess the emerging business tools and strategies relying on machine learning and other algorithms. We review recent developments in the economics of AI, with particular focus on which jobs AI will likely replace and the reasons why. We explore differences in AI deployment across countries and regions, and their implications for international economic relations between the US, China, and the EU. The course concludes with an exploration of the political and governance challenges that may arise from AI-induced unemployment and widening inequality, privacy concerns, and algorithmic biases. We evaluate policy proposals to forestall these threats to democratic governance.

The class meets for eight virtual sessions (via Zoom), which combine lecture, discussion, and student presentations. The class will be highly interactive and each student is expected to participate in each meeting. Successful contributions to the course require that you complete the readings prior to the session for which they are assigned.



Prof. Stephen Weymouth
Associate Professor
McDonough School of Business,
Georgetown University, Washington D.C.


Duration: 13 - 23 July 2020

Online Course via ZOOM

Monday 13 July 2020: 15:30 - 18:00
Tuesday 14 July 2020: 15:30 - 18:00
Wednesday 15 July 2020: 15:30 - 18:00
Thursday 16 July 2020: 15:30 - 18:00

Monday 20 July 2020: 15:30 - 18:00
Tuesday 21 July 2020: 15:30 - 18:00
Wednesday 22 July 2020: 115:30 - 18:00
Thursday 23 July 2020: 15:30 - 18:00

Assessment Details

The grades are computed as follows:

  • Contribution to the class (individual): 30%
  • Presentations (group): 40%
  • Short paper (group): 30%

Recommended Prerequisites

Introduction to Economics (Einführung in die Volkswirtschaftslehre, 10130)
Globalization and European Integration (Globalisierung und europäische Integration, 34504)

Course Information

For further information please contact the Summer School office.