Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

Carly Simon Lends a Voice

You’re So Vain

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Robert DeNiro Unloads on Trump

Epic stuff via Crooks & Liars

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Nothing Here

South Florida escaped Hurricane Matthew essentially unscathed when the storm zigged instead of zagging.  I read that 50,000 people, mostly in the county north of us, Broward, lost power.  Here the lights flickered a couple of times and surged once despite our house-sized surged protector.

Now to take the patio stuff back outside.  Meanwhile, the radio suggests that the northern part of the state is still at risk of landfall, and that a ten-foot (!) storm surge may hit some places.  Plus waves.

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The Morning After

Kaine won the morning.

Pence sure lied a lot.

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Tropical storm and/or hurricane watches are likely for portions of the Florida peninsula and Florida Keys later this morning.

The track of Hurricane Matthew has been drifting west as the northward motion slows.  Currently poor Haiti is under it.  If the track doesn’t drift West any more, Miami should be fine….but if it does shift a bit more West…this is a very big and nasty hurricane.

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Our Reality


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We Robot 2017 Now Accepting Paper Proposals

We Robot 2017—Call For Papers

We invite submissions for the sixth annual robotics law and policy conference—We Robot 2017—to be held at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut on Mar. 31–Apr. 1, 2017. In past years, the conference has been held at University of Miami School of Law, University of Washington School of Law, and Stanford Law School. The conference web site is at

We Robot 2017 seeks contributions by academics, practitioners, and others in the form of scholarly papers, technological demonstrations, 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 relating to how officials, jurists, and citizens conceive of robots and the influence of that conception on law and policy outcomes.

This conference will build on a growing body of scholarship exploring 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 policy issues. We are particularly interested this year in “solutions,” i.e., projects with a normative or practical thesis aimed at helping to resolve questions 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.


We also invite expressions of interest from potential discussants. Every paper accepted will be assigned a discussant who will 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 with the discussant acting as a moderator.


Unlike 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, what’s on the drawing board for the next generations of robots, or about legal and policy issues you have encountered in the design or deploy process.

How to Submit Your Proposal

  • Paper proposals will be accepted via our website starting Oct. 3, 2016. See for further information.
  • When CFP opens, Please use the Google Form to submit a 1-3 page abstract outlining your proposed paper and a CV of the author(s).
  • Call for papers closes Nov. 4, 2016.
  • Responses will be issued by Dec. 16, 2016.
  • Full papers are due by Mar. 17, 2016. They will be posted online at the conference web site unless otherwise agreed by participants.

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

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