Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Nobel-PrizeTSA Questions Scientist Trying to Bring His Nobel Prize Through Security:

“They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’ I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’

“They said, ‘What’s in the box?’ I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does.

“So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’ I said, ‘gold.’ And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’ ‘The King of Sweden.’ ‘Why did he give this to you?’ ‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’

“At which point, they were beginning to lose their sense of humour. I explained to them it was a Nobel Prize, and their main question was, ‘Why were you in Fargo?’”

Daily Telegraph via View from the Wing.

Posted in Law: Right to Travel | Leave a comment

Eric Fresen Must Go

If there’s one thing about local politics that ought to be beyond debate it is that Eric Fresen (FL House District 114) is a an example of most of what is wrong with the state of the polity.

He’s in the pocket of Big Gambling, and has tirelessly worked to legalize big casinos despite the fact that other communities that have invited them in don’t get good jobs and do get much more organized and even petty crime. Even if you manage to make a destination location, the hard-core gamblers don’t as a rule leave the facility to spread their money around.

He’s basically a walking ethical swamp:

The $1,500 penalty was assessed in 2003 because Fresen did not file a financial disclosure while serving as legislative aide the year before.

Commissioners said it was “horrific” that Fresen had not paid the fine, and called the case among the worst they had ever seen. One commissioner likened the circumstances to a bank robbery.

“Can we do a public censure?” asked Commissioner Linda Robison. “I find this appalling and I think his constituents need to know he never paid a fine that was assessed.”

Experts agree that this is not an isolated issue, either.

But today the Miami Herald (truckling to the establishment since long before I moved here), endorsed every incumbent legislator. Including Fresen. Maybe because Herald ex-publisher David Lawrence, Jr. has some sort of crush on him?

And this in the year when Fresen has what may be his best challenger ever, Daisy Baez. I’ve met her and I was impressed. Unfortunately, Ross Hancock is running as an independent after dropping out of the Democratic primary when Baez demonstrated financial muscle and support. I supported Hancock when he ran against Fresen last time (and he did well because a lot of folks really hate Fresen) but this is just splitting the vote.

Vote Baez if you live in the 114th District.

This really one isn’t about party (I don’t think Baez is a liberal, she’s ex-military and a corporate executive) — it’s about basic ethics and decency.

Posted in 2014 Election, Miami | 3 Comments

Guest Post at The Volokh Conspiracy

See Self-defense against overflying drones (with Zak Colangelo). It’s a quick summary of some of the arguments in our (draft) paper on Self-Defense Against Robots.

I wonder–am I the most liberal guest-poster ever at Volokh’s blog? Must surely be in the top five at least.

Posted in Blogs, Robots | 1 Comment

We Robot 2015 Call for Papers

We invite submissions for the fourth annual robotics law and policy conference—We Robot 2015—to be held in Seattle, Washington on April 10-11, 2015 at the University of Washington School of Law. We Robot has been hosted twice at the University of Miami School of Law and once at Stanford Law School. The conference web site is at http://werobot2015.org.

cropped-werobot-webheaderWe Robot 2015 seeks contributions by academics, practitioners, and others in the form of scholarly papers or demonstrations of technology or other projects. We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate. We particularly encourage contributions resulting from interdisciplinary collaborations, such as those between legal, ethical, or policy scholars and roboticists.

This conference will build on existing scholarship that explores how the increasing sophistication and autonomous decision-making capabilities of robots and their widespread deployment everywhere from the home, to hospitals, to public spaces, to the battlefield disrupts existing legal regimes or requires rethinking of various policy issues. We are particularly interested this year in “solutions,” i.e., projects with a normative or practical thesis aimed at helping to resolve issues around contemporary and anticipated robotic applications.

Scholarly Papers

Topics of interest for the scholarly paper portion of the conference include but are not limited to:

  • The impact of artificial intelligence on civil liberties, including sexuality, equal protection, privacy, suffrage, and procreation.
  • Comparative perspectives on the regulation of robotic technologies.
  • Assessment of what institutional configurations, if any, would best serve to integrate robotics into society responsibly.
  • Deployment of autonomous weapons in the military or law enforcement contexts.
  • Law and economic perspectives on robotics.

These are only some examples of relevant topics. We are very interested in papers on other topics driven by actual or probable robot deployments. The purpose of this conference is to help set a research agenda relating to the deployment of robots in society, to inform policy-makers of the issues, and to help design legal rules that will maximize opportunities and minimize risks arising from the increased deployment of robots in society.

Discussants

We also invite expressions of interest from potential discussants. Every paper accepted will be assigned a discussant whose job it will be to present and comment on the paper. These presentations will be very brief (no more than 10 minutes) and will consist mostly of making a few points critiquing the author’s paper to kick off the conversation. Authors will then respond briefly (no more than 5 minutes). The rest of the session will consist of a group discussion about the paper moderated by the discussant.

Demonstrations

Unlike the scholarly papers, proposals for demonstrations may be purely descriptive and designer/builders will be asked to present their work themselves. We’d like to hear about your latest innovations—and what’s on the drawing board for the next generations of robots as well, or about legal and policy issues you have encountered in the design or deploy process.

How to Submit Your Proposal

Please send a 1-3 page abstract outlining your proposed paper, and a c.v. of the author(s) to papers@werobot2015.org.

  • Paper proposals accepted starting Oct. 1, 2014. See http://werobot2015.org for further information.
  • Call for papers closes Nov 3, 2014.
  • Responses by Dec. 14, 2014.
  • Full papers due by March 23, 2015. They will be posted on line at the conference web site unless otherwise agreed by participants.

We anticipate paying reasonable round-trip domestic coach airfare and providing hotel accommodation for presenters and discussants.

Posted in Robots, Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

Call for Papers: UM Law Review 11th Circuit Issue

The students on the Law Review asked me to share this call for papers:

Every year, the University of Miami Law Review dedicates its fourth issue to articles analyzing current and timely issues pending within the Eleventh Circuit. The Eleventh Circuit issue is unique to the University of Miami Law Review-no other journal publishes an issue like it. As the premier publication for law review articles regarding the Eleventh Circuit, past issues have either provided broad overviews of relevant topics or focused on a single, relevant theme. We are now accepting submissions for Volume 69, Issue 4, which will be published in the summer of 2015. We will accept submissions from authors on any timely and important Eleventh Circuit topic. Moreover, submissions do not have to be limited to a federal issue or topic. An intertwining of both federal and state issues is welcomed, as it provides for a wider audience and a more in-depth article. If you would like to submit a current draft of an article addressing an Eleventh Circuit topic or propose an idea for an for the Eleventh Circuit article, please email Adrienne Scheffey atascheffey@students.law.miami.edu with the subject “Eleventh Circuit Issue.”

Posted in U.Miami | Leave a comment

Take a Night Off

Gablesstage is running a special for students on Wednesday – $10 tickets to its 8pm performance of “Mothers and Sons” by Terrence NcNally. I saw the show this weekend and it’s good. Not the very best they’ve ever done (which is a very high bar) — the script is a little preachy in a couple of places — but very well acted, especially by Angie Radosh. Well worth seeing at full price, not to mention the discounted $30 on Wednesday, and at $10 for students it’s a steal.
Mothers-and-Sons
Apparently the special Wednesday performance is to make up for Friday’s being cancelled for Yom Kippur. So, take a break! We’re lucky to have such a fine theater in our neighborhood. Gablesstage is located in the Biltmore Hotel, although the actual entrance is around the side on the NE corner of the hotel. Skip the valet at the main entrance: Self-park for free in the main lot, then it’s a very short walk.

Posted in Kultcha | Leave a comment

I’m an All-Star!

Some time ago I agreed to give a talk on privacy issues 1pm this afternoon at UM’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

I’ve only just discovered, however, that the lecture series I’m a part of is the UM All-Stars. And they mean it: the wrap-up speaker on Oct. 13th is no less than UM’s Head Basketball Coach.

Posted in Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment