Category Archives: Talks & Conferences

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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Speaking at 3 to National Academy Panel

I’m on the (token?) Privacy session for a day-long event organized by a panel of the National Academies of Science on “Improving Federal Statistics for Policy and Social Science Research Using Multiple Data Sources and State-of-the-Art Estimation Methods.” In other words, how to get the government in on the big data bandwagon.

My panel is moderated by EPIC’s Marc Rotenberg, and also features IBM’s Jeff Jonas. I’ve attached my slides for the talk on privacy issues with sensor data collection.

The event open to the public, and runs all day at the Keck Center, 500 Fifth St.NW, Room 100, Washington DC. Come along if you are in the neighborhood.

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My New Paper May Make Some of My Friends Angry

Building Privacy into the Infrastructure: Towards a New Identity Management Architecture comes to what I fear some of my friends in the privacy community will find to be an unacceptable conclusion.

I’ll be presenting it at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference in Washington next week. Hopefully, since many attendees are in fact friends, they won’t bring brickbats.

Posted in Cryptography, Econ & Money, Law: Internet Law, Law: Privacy, Surveillance, Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

We Robot Starts Thursday

We Robot 2016 Small sizeWe have an incredible 3-day program, starting with workshops on Thursday then a 2-day academic conference. Pre-registration is closed, bu there should be some tickets at the door. All the papers are now available online. UM faculty and student tickets are only $35 — but student readers of this blog who write to me and give me a good reason are eligible to get in free.

For physical attendees, We Robot 2016 has been approved by the Florida Bar for 25.0 credits of General CLE, including 3.5 Ethics credits. General Registration is $159.00.

We’re also broadcasting Friday and Saturday’s events on We Robot’s Livestream. The twitter hashtag is #WeRobot.

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We Robot 2016 News

We Robot 2016 Small sizePapers for We Robot 2016 are now available from the Program Page — look for the colorful hyperlinks. If you’re coming, or if you are planning to follow along online, you will want to read as many of the papers as you can before the event. We Robot authors do not present their papers; instead we jump straight to the discussant, who summarizes the paper and then offers comments. The author(s) respond briefly, and then we turn it over to our amazing attendees for their questions and reactions. This makes for a much more substantive session, but it works better if you’ve read the paper in advance.

If you would prefer to download the papers all at once, here’s a zip file with all of the papers.

And if you haven’t registered yet, don’t delay: Registration closes on Monday at 5pm, and there will be only a very limited number of seats at the door.

(Links fixed!)

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Slides from Toronto Big Data Talk

This morning I presented a short talk on the tensions between Big Data and privacy at the University of Toronto’s conference on The Future Frontiers of Online Privacy.

Here, in case you care–and for the record–are my slides from the talk entitled Big Data / Privacy: Pick One?

P.S. My phone said it was 17° (-8°C) this morning when I walked over. I believe it.

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Off to Toronto (Brrrr)

Giant East-coast storm notwithstanding, I’m off to Toronto to participate in a conference on The Future Frontiers of Online Privacy at the University of Toronto on Saturday. Tickets are available online.

I’m going to speak about the great challenges that Big Data, and the love of Big Data, pose for privacy and for privacy regulation.

In theory I ought to just fly over or around the storm, which is not expected to hit Toronto. In theory, air transport might not be so disrupted as to block my return on Sunday. In theory…

Did I mention it is predicted to be a high of 23°F on Saturday, low of 14°F? That’s about 45°F less than here. Brrrr indeed.

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