Ethics and Governance in Artificial Intelligence

Co-taught by Jonathan Zittrain and Joi Ito

The Ethics & Governance of AI course was part of the 2018 Assembly program and was co-taught by Professor Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of the Berkman Klein Center, and Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab.

This course pursued a cross-disciplinary investigation of the implications of emerging technologies, with an emphasis on the development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence. It covered a variety of issues, including the complex interaction between governance organizations and sovereign states, the proliferation of algorithmic decision making, autonomous systems, machine learning and explanation, the search for balance between regulation and innovation, and the effects of AI on the dissemination of information, along with questions related to individual rights, discrimination, and architectures of control. The course involved a variety of learning and teaching methods. The class included Media Lab and Berkman Klein Center fellows and affiliates.

Download a PDF version of the 2018 full class syllabus (including readings) here.


Assembly is a project run out of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the MIT Media Lab. The project is part of the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund.

If you have any questions about the program or would like to get in touch, please email us at