Course Details

The BCS Foundation Award in Understanding the Role of Ethics in the Responsible Use of AI is designed for anyone wishing to gain an understanding of how an ethical culture can support and ensure responsible use of AI.

AI is increasing in its use. Now a presence within our workplaces and our homes, there is a greater need now more than ever to understand the moral implications associated with AI and how it is impacting on society. This award considers the responsibility of organisations and society towards ensuring AI is implemented for the good of others. It considers the potential harm AI may pose, and the safeguards that can be implemented to ensure it is used safely, ethically and for the good of society. Candidates will be encouraged to explore the benefits associated with AI and the potential value it can add towards the continued evolution of humankind if managed well.

The BCS Foundation Award in Understanding the Role of Ethics in the Responsible Use of AI has been created for IT professionals of all levels, particularly those considering AI as a solution. It aims to provide them with a basic understanding of the ethical challenges posed upon society, whilst also recognising the business benefits.


This award sits within the Ethics area of the AI Foundation Pathway and demonstrates how the societal impact of AI will be controlled by human interaction.

You'll learn about:

  • The impact of, and level of responsibility for, AI in business
  • Scaling up the impact and responsibility of AI to society
  • Potential harm and safeguards
  • The role of humans in an AI world


This award contributes 4 credits towards the:

  • Foundation Certificate in AI (total credits required: 20)
  • Foundation Diploma in AI (total credits required: 36)

Other Ethics awards in the AI Foundation Pathway include:

Course curriculum

  • 2

    Chapter 1 The impact and level of responsibility of AI in business

    • Learning objectives

    • 1.1 Identify the levels of responsibility AI has and explain the impact on the business.

    • High stake and low stake decision making

    • Risk

    • Level of sign off by AI and humans

    • Decision making

    • Changes

    • Staff

    • Process

    • 1.2 Explain the difficulty with establishing ownership of AI and where the responsibility lies.

    • Owner of the business

    • The user

    • The person who created the AI

    • Contract law

    • Intelectual property

    • 1.3 Explain the need for a business to define appropriate use of AI.

    • Sustainability

    • Ethical behaviour

    • Risk management

    • Culture

    • 1.4 Determine the need for protecting wider society.

    • Equality

    • Diversity

    • Inclusion

    • Vulnerable persons

    • Consideration in products

    • 1.5 Describe the typical roles in implementing and using AI.

    • Project Manager

    • AI Committee

    • Information security

    • AI Expert

    • Business change

    • Data Architect

  • 3

    Chapter 2 Scaling up the impact and responsibility of AI to society

    • Learning objectives

    • 2.1 Explain the importance of respecting the concerns of AI in society.

    • Unemployment

    • Wellbeing, e.g. not competing against machines

    • Exclusion

    • Super AI

    • Shared consciousness

    • Can we define consciousness?

    • 2.2 Describe the importance of sustainability and how this relates to AI.

    • Environmental

    • Economic

    • Social

    • Continuing into the future

    • UN Sustainability goals and targets

    • 2.3 Identify the applicable standards and legislation that affect the use and build of AI.

    • EU guidelines on ethics

    • Data guidelines - Data Protection/GDPR

    • CDEI

    • Alan Turing Institute

    • ICO

  • 4

    Chapter 3 Potential harm and safeguards

    • Learning objectives

    • 3.1 Identify the areas of concern with AI development.

    • Bias

    • Accountability

    • Privacy

    • Poor quality

    • Rogue AI Auditability / Transparency Ambiguity Lack of talent Lack of informed decision makers

    • 3.2 Explain how an ethics first culture can reduce concerns in these areas.

    • Alan Turing Institute

    • SUM values, FAST track principles, Ethical by design

    • 3.3 Describe key aspects of a visible ethical AI Culture.

    • Building culture from the top down and bottom up

    • Ethical principles

    • Whistle blowing

    • Accountability

    • Professional competence

    • 3.4 Explain the role corporate governance has in supporting responsible AI.

    • Collective decision making

    • AI ethics committee

  • 5

    Chapter 4 The role of humans in an AI world

    • Learning objectives

    • 4.1 Describe the level of responsibility of humans as we move towards a more automated world.

    • Government frameworks

    • Legal

    • Project Managers

    • Quality assurance

    • Testers

    • 4.2 Recognise how AI allows the human to elevate their position.

    • AI takes the heavy lifting to allow humans to move into high value work

    • Taking stress away from the human to focus on other tasks

    • 4.3 Identify the strengths of the human in an AI world.

    • Sociability

    • Healthier

    • Creativity

    • Leadership

    • Enhances freewill

    • Human + machine

Questions

  • Who is it For?

    All IT professionals who are required to operate ethically in society and in business - from service desk operative to CIO! Business and digital leaders considering AI as a solution for their organisation. Digital practitioners looking to upskill and develop their professional credentials. Employees who want to understand more about the ethical impact of their work and decisions. Consumers who would like to be more informed in an increasingly technology-driven society

  • What Will I Learn?

    Discover how an ethical culture leads to the sustainable and responsible use of AI, by considering the potential harm that can come from AI, the safeguards that can be implemented, and where the responsibility lies within our organisations and society.

  • Exam

    A 30 min. ‘closed book’ exam, with 16 multiple-choice questions & 2 scenario-based questions (worth 2 marks each). The pass mark is 65% (13/20) and you can take the exam from home (computer with webcam required). You will have 12 months access to the course to help you prepare.

  • Entry Requirements

    There are no specific entry requirements for this award. However, some professional experience in a business or IT environment may be advantageous.

  • What do I Get?

    As well as gaining new skills and knowledge, upon successful completion, you will receive a globally recognised certificate (and 4 credits) awarded by BCS at SFIA Plus Level 3, and free annual Associate membership to BCS to further develop your career and grow your professional network.

  • How Long Does it Take to Complete?

    The BCS recommend 40 hours of learning to prepare for the exam, including 16hrs using this course and a further 24hrs of independent study.

  • What Support Is Available?

    A qualified tutor is on hand to answer any questions you have about the course and the content, via email or student discussion forum.

  • What Career Support Is Available?

    When you pass your course, you will receive a one-year free membership to the BCS (worth £90) which offers professional networking and career development opportunities through their careers service: ’Springboard'.

Instructor

Company Director and Accredited Trainer

Darren Winter

Darren is the Company Director of Duco Digital, a digital marketing & training business providing business analysis and delivering professional marketing solutions including websites, social media marketing, SEO, marketing strategies and training. In 2020, he launched Duco Digital Training offering BCS accredited distance learning courses. In 2017 he graduated from Newcastle University with an MA with merit in Cross-Cultural Communication and International Marketing, previously graduating with a BSc in Computing from Teesside University where he was also a University Governor. He is the Chair of the Redcar Cleveland Ambassadors and the Redcar Town Deal Board, and also manages the Redcar and Cleveland Business Network.

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Price includes 12 months access, tutor support and exam costs.

What If I Change My Mind?

If you change your mind about your course purchase, you can apply for a refund within 14 days of purchase, provided that you haven't accessed your course material. Please note that you are no longer eligible if you have accessed your course material or communicated with any course tutor.