Category Archives: Robots

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.

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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.

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We Robot Happened

And it was A Happening. The papers were strong, and the presentations if anything stronger. David Post wins for best line of the 2-day conference, and I’ll link here to his video when we have it up in a few days. (Unedited video can be found at the livestream site)

Meanwhile, however, we had some media at and around the event:

I really think it was the best We Robot yet. I should recover soon.

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We Robot is Today & Tomorrow

We Robot 2014 is happening today and tomorrow. We have a great lineup of papers, all of which you can download and read from our Program page. There you can also see our schedule, and follow along on the livestream or via our own proprietary live video feed. Everything will be broadcast except the demos, which take place in different rooms.

The papers seem strong this year, so there’s plenty to read and think about.

I co-authored a paper this year on “self-defense against robots,” which is a fun topic. The paper is actually quite a basic application of tort law to robot issues – it’s one of those papers you write to lay a foundation for other papers. But as far as I know, no one else had written it, so I hope it is useful.

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Interviewed by @pfunkmedia

I was interviewed today by @pfunkmedia about #We_Robot. You can hear the podcast — I’m the second half.

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Terrific We Robot 2014 Program

Registration is now open for We Robot 2014, April 4-5 here at U. Miami. Tickets are free, but seats are limited.

We have a terrific program planned:

Friday, April 4th

8:00 am Check-in and Breakfast

8:30 am Introductions
Welcome and Introduction of Sponsors
A Few Words from Our Sponsors
Introductory Remarks: A. Michael Froomkin, Program Chair

8:45 am Regulating The Loop
Meg Leta Ambrose, Communication, Culture, and Technology, Georgetown University
Discussant: Elizabeth Grossman, Microsoft Corp.

10:00 am Break

10:15 am Rethinking Models of Responsibility for Semi-Autonomous Robots
Jason Millar, Philosophy, Carleton University
Discussant: Peter Asaro, School of Media Studies, The New School for Public Engagement, Stanford Law School, International Committee for Robot Arms Control

11:30 am Break

11:45 am Robots as Labor Creating Devices: Robotic Technologies and the Expansion of the Second Shift
Ann Bartow, Pace Law School
Discussant: Jodi Forlizzi, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

1:00 pm Lunch

2:00 pm Panel on Robots and Social Justice
Moderator: Kate Darling, MIT Media Lab

  • The Canny Valley: Law, Ethics, and the Design of Robots Increasingly Able to Mimic and Invite Affection
    Kenneth Anderson, Washington College of Law, American University, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, The Brookings Institution
  • Consumer Cloud Robotics and the Fair Information Practice Principles: The Policy Risks and Opportunities Ahead
    Kris Hauser, Computer Science and Informatics, Indiana University
    Andrew A. Proia, Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, Indiana University
    Drew T. Simshaw, Center for Law, Ethics, and Applied Research in Health Information, Indiana University
  • Professional Ethics for HRI Research, Development, and Marketing
    Laurel D. Riek, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Notre Dame
    Don Howard, Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
  • Robots in School: Disability and the Promise (or Specter?) of Radical Educational Equality
    Aaron Jay Saiger, Fordham University School of Law

3:45 pm Break

4:00 pm Parallel Demonstrations

  • TeleRobotics
    Howard Jay Chizeck, Electrical Engineering & Bioengineering, University of Washington
  • Automated Algorithmic Software Trading Robots: Sousveillance, and Continuous Cloud Sync Audit Trails
    Avi Rushinek, University of Miami School of Business
    Sara Rushinek University of Miami School of Business

5:00 pm Survey: “So, What do YOU think a robot is?” A short quiz for the audience.
Bill Smart, Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University

5:30 pm Reception

7:00 pm Birds of a Feather Sessions
@ Local restaurants


Saturday, April 5th

8:00 am Check-in and Breakfast

8:30 am Chief Justice John Roberts is a Robot
Ian Kerr, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine & Department of Philosophy, University of Ottawa
Carissima Mathen, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Discussant: Jack Balkin, Yale Law School

9:45 am Break

10:00 am When Robot Eyes Are Watching You: The Law & Policy of Automated Communications Surveillance
Kevin Bankston, New America Foundation
Amie Stepanovich, Electronic Privacy Information Center
Discussant: Neil Richards, Washington University School of Law

11:15 am Break

11:30 am Robotics and the New Cyberlaw
Ryan Calo, University of Washington School of Law
Discussant: David Post, Beasley School of Law, Temple University

12:45 pm Lunch

1:45 pm Prison of Our Own Making: An Expanded View of Automated Law Enforcement
Col. Lisa A. Shay, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, United States Military Academy
Woodrow Hartzog, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
Col. John C. Nelson, English & Philosophy, United States Military Academy
Col. Gregory Conti, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science & Information Technology Operations Center, United States Military Academy
Discussant: Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami School of Law

3:00 pm Break

3:15 pm Panel on Domestic Drones
Moderator: Dan Siciliano, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford Law School

  • Robots, Micro-Airspaces, and the Future of “Public Space”
    Peter Asaro, New School for Public Engagement, Stanford Law School, International Committee for Robot Arms Control
  • Risk, Product Liability Trends, Triggers, and Insurance in Commercial Aerial Robots
    David K. Breyer, Digital Risk Resources
    Donna A. Dulo, U.S. Department of Defense
    Gale A. Townsley, Severson & Werson PC
    Stephen S. Wu, Cooke Kobrick & Wu LLP
  • A Legal Framework for the Safe and Resilient Operation of Autonomous Aerial Robots
    Cameron R. Cloar, Nixon Peabody LLP
    Donna A. Dulo, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Self-Defense Against Robots
    A. Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law
    Zak Colangelo, University of Miami School of Law

4:45 pm Final Remarks

Posted in Robots, Talks & Conferences | 1 Comment

Great List of Accepted Papers for We Robot 2014

I’m really proud of the great list of We Robot 2014 Accepted Papers.
I think this year’s conference is going to be the best one yet!

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