Robot Law: Preventing Serious—and Subtle—Threats, featuring yours truly.
Category Archives: Robots
Nice write-up by Nicholas Deleon in Why Google’s Self-Driving Car Crash Doesn’t Change Anything.
As I told him, I think it’s wrong to expect robot cars to be 100% safe; so having a Google self-driving car in a fender-bender is of no real significance. There are a lot of issues with self-driving cars, but their failure to be perfect is not in my opinion one of them. Indeed, until all cars on the road are controlled by compatible (note I said compatible, not centrally controlled!) systems, the interaction between, excuse the term, legacy cars and robotic cars — not to mention pedestrians, stray animals, and debris on the road — means accidents will happen.
As I told Delon, one issue is whether the robot car is (provably) safer than the average human. Another issue is who should pay when the robot car is at fault, wholly or partly, for the accidents. The law has not determined how to allocate responsibility between the passenger, the owner, the programmer, and the manufacturer. We could treat this as a straight-forward problem of product liability law, or we could be more creative. I’m thinking on it.
This is exciting: just got my first copy of “Robot Law,” a book I edited with Ryan Calo and Ian Kerr. I suppose I might be a little biased, but I think it’s a pretty darn good collection that will give anyone interested in how society will cope with robots plenty to think about.
Robot Law is apparently going to list for $165 when it’s out in (very) late March, which is a lot, but you can pre-order it for less, or buy an online copy for much less. Meanwhile, however, you can peek inside, and read my introductory essay which gives you a tour of the wonderful contributions by our extraordinarily varied contributors. This is not a book just by some law profs: it’s an attempt to do real interdisciplinary work and, more importantly, to foster an ongoing series of interdisciplinary conversations.
Of course, the real-life place where we do that is at We Robot — registration for this year’s conference is now open and the early-bird discounted registration ends Friday.
We’ve got an absolutely spectacular program lined up for We Robot 2016. It’s a little crowded, but that’s because we got so many great submissions, many of which we still had to turn away. Register now for this action-packed event: April 1 & 2 for the main program, plus special workshops on March 31.
Thursday, March 31
9:00am Check-in & breakfast
9:30am Juris Machina: Legal Aspects of Robotics
Organizer: Woody Hartzog, Cumberland School of Law at Samford University
11:15am Electronic Love, Trust, & Abuse: Social Aspects of Robotics
Organizer: Kate Darling, Research Specialist at MIT Media Lab. Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Affiliate at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
2:00pm “The Robot Revolution has been Rescheduled (until we can debug the sensors)”: Technical Aspects of Robotics
Organizer: William D. Smart, Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University
3:45pm Funding the Future: Financial Aspects of Robotics
Organizer: Dan Siciliano, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford Law School
5:15pm Wrap up
Friday, April 1st
Check-in and Breakfast
Welcome Remarks: Patricia White, University of Miami School of Law
Introductory Remarks and Introduction of Sponsors: A. Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law, Program Chair
Moral Crumple Zones: Cautionary Tales in Human Robot Interaction
Madeleine Elish, The Intelligence & Autonomy Initiative, Data & Society
Discussant: Rebecca Crootof, The Information Society Project, Yale Law School
Privacy-Sensitive Robotics: Initial Survey and Future Directions
Matthew Rueben, Personal Robotics, Oregon State University
Discussant: Ashkan Soltani, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
How to Engage the Public on the Ethics and Governance of Lethal Autonomous Weapons
Jason Millar, Philosophy, Queen’s University
Discussant: Peter Asaro, School of Media Studies, The New School for Public Engagement, Stanford Law School, International Committee for Robot Arms Control
Demonstration: Legal and Ethical Implications for Robots in our Life
Olivier Guihelm, Aldebaran, SoftBank Robotics
Hot Topic: Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous Vehicles, Predictability, and Law
Harry Surden, University of Colorado Law School
Connect Cars – Recent Legal developments
Françoise Gilbert, The IT Law Group
Discussant: Dan Siciliano, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford Law School
Robots Again: Thoughts On the Origins and Direction of Robotics Law
Ryan Calo, University of Washington School of Law
Discussant: Chris Yoo, Communication, and Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Poster Session & Reception
7:00pm Birds of a Feather Sessions@ Local restaurants
Saturday, April 2nd
Registration and Breakfast
Privacy and Healthcare Robots – An ANT analysis
Aurelia Tamo, The Chair for Information and Communication Law and Visiting Researcher, The Institute for Pervasive Computing, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Christoph Lutz, Institute for Media and Communications Management, University of St. Gallen
Discussant: Matt Beane, MIT Sloan School of Management
Institutional Options for Robot Governance
Dr. Aaron Mannes, Apex Data Analytics Engine, HSARPA Department of Homeland Security
Discussant: Harry Surden, University of Colorado Law School
Will #BlackLivesMatter to RoboCop?
Peter Asaro, School of Media Studies, The New School for Public Engagement, Stanford Law School, International Committee for Robot Arms Control
Discussant: Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami School of Law
Special Event: Policy, Law, and Robotics in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Raj Madhavan, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Institute for Systems Research & Maryland Robotics Center at the University of Maryland
Demonstration: Openrov And Openrov Trident: Democratizing Exploration, Conservation, And Marine Science Through Low-Cost Open-Source Underwater Robots
Andrew Thaler, OpenROV
David Land, OpenROV
Siriously? Free Speech Rights for Artificial Intelligence
Helen Norton, University of Colorado School of Law
Toni Massaro, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Discussant: Margot E. Kaminski, Ohio State University
What do We Really Know About Robots and the Law?
William D. Smart, Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University
Discussant: Ian Kerr, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, and Department of Philosophy.
Final Remarks: A. Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law
I’m at a meaty NSF/DHS conference on the regulatory challenges of ‘autonomous’ machines. (The scare quotes reflect the consensus that this is a contested term.)
The seriousness of the event has not stopped participants from noting that it’s Roy Batty’s birthday today (Blade Runner, in case you don’t get the reference).