#WeRobot Finished With a Bang!

(Metaphorically, only.)

We will have recordings of substantially all the discussions up online in about a week.

Meanwhile, you can still read the papers.  You might want to start with the prize-winners:

… although I’d also like to give a shout-out to two of my personal favorites:

That said, the papers all were really good, which is pretty amazing.

Posted in AI, Robots, Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

#WeRobot 2021 Starts Today!

Join us for the 10th Anniversary Edition – Register Here. All events will be virtual. All times are US Eastern time.

At We Robot we ask (and expect) that everyone reads the papers scheduled for Days One and Two in advance of those sessions. (The Workshops do not have advance papers.) In most cases, authors do not deliver their papers. Instead we go straight to the discussant’s wrap-up and appreciation/critique. The authors respond briefly, and then we open it up to Q&A from our fabulous attendee/participants. Click on the paper titles below to download a .pdf text of each paper. Enjoy! Or you can download a zip file of Friday’s papers and Saturday’s papers.

We Robot 2021 Program

Download full schedule to your calendar.

We Robot 2021 will be hosted on Whova. We’ve prepared a We Robot 2021 Attendee Guide. You can also Get Whova Now.

We Robot 2021 has been approved for 19.0 Florida CLE credits, including 19.0 in technology, 1.0 in ethics, and 3.5 in bias elimination. Details here.

Thurs. Sept. 23 Workshop ScheduleWhatWho
10:30-11:00Please see the Attendee Whova Instructions for info about how conference software works and how to log in.Email Ryan Erickson for tech support logging in.
11:00-12:00Here Be Robots:
The panel will discuss basic technical concepts underpinning the latest developments in AI and robotics.
Bill Smart
Cindy Grimm
12:00-1:00LunchEveryone!
1:00-2:00if(goingToTurnEvil), {don’t();}: Creating Legal Rules for Robots
A lawyer, a roboticist, and a sociologist (or other discipline) walk into a bar…to form multidisciplinary teams attempting to craft or tear apart hypothetical legislation. This experiential session combines law, robotics, drones, and networking.
Evan Selinger
Kristen Thomasen
Woody Hartzog
2:00-3:00Break & Breakouts
Finding your Path, Your People, and Your Conference Program--Networking Break
Take a break, or join one of the following networking sessions:
1. How to do interdisciplinary research in this space
2. What do I want to be when I grow up?
3. Welcome to We Robot for newbies
Ryan Calo
Sue Glueck
Kristen Thomasen
3:00-4:00Why Call Them Robots? 100 Years of R.U.R.
The panel will discuss multidisciplinary perspectives on R.U.R., the 1920 sci-fi play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek. "R.U.R." stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti.
Robin Murphy, Joanne Pransky and Jeremy Brett
4:00-4:15BreakEveryone!
4:15-5:30I’ll Take Robot Geeks for $1000, Alex: An Afternoon of Robot Trivia
Light appetizers and beverages will be provided.
Jason Millar
Woody Hartzog
Friday, Sept. 24 ScheduleDay One EventsDiscussant
8:30-9:30Check-in / Registration
Please see the Attendee Whova Instructions for info about how conference software works.
Email Ryan Erickson for tech support logging in.
9:30-10:00Welcome and Introductions
10:00-11:00The Legal Construction of Black Boxes
Elizabeth Kumar, Andrew Selbst, and Suresh Venkatasubramanian
Ryan Calo
11:00-11:30Break
Live Demo Q&A
Societal Implications of Large Language Models
Miles Brundage
We suggest viewing recorded demo in advance of Q&A
11:30-12:30Being "Seen" vs. "Mis-seen": Tensions Between Privacy and Fairness in Computer Vision
Alice Xiang
Daniel Susser
12:30-12:45Lightning Poster Session & Announcements
12:45-1:45Lunch Break
1:45-3:15Field Robotics Panel
Moderator: Edward Tunstel
3:15-3:45Break
Live Demo Q&A
Skills from Students – Artifacts from a Robot Interaction Design Curriculum for Fifth Grade Students
Daniella DiPaola
We suggest viewing recorded demo in advance of Q&A
3:45-4:45Social Robots and Children’s Fundamental Rights: A Dynamic Four-Component Framework for Research, Development, and Deployment
Vicky Charisi, Selma Šabanović, Urs Gasser, and Randy Gomez
Veronica Ahumada-Newhart
4:45-5:15Break
Live Demo Q&A: Robots and Robotics as a service. Service Robots you can use today.
Jean Duteau, CEO of Robot World
We suggest viewing recorded demo in advance of Q&A
5:15-6:15Driving Into the Loop: Mapping Automation Bias & Liability Issues for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
Katie Szilagyi, Jason Millar, Ajung Moon, and Shalaleh Rismani
Meg Leta Jones
6:15-7:15Poster Session & Reception

7:45-9:45Conference DinnerVirtual....
Saturday Sept. 25 ScheduleDay Two EventsDiscussant
9:00-10:00Registration
Please see the Attendee Whova Instructions for info about how conference software works.
Email Ryan Erickson for tech support logging in.
10:00-11:00Debunking Robot Rights: Metaphysically, Ethically and Legally
Abeba Birhane, Jelle van Dijk, and Frank Pasquale
Deb Raji
11:00-11:30Break
Live Demo Q&A
Skills from Students – Artifacts from a Robot Interaction Design Curriculum for Fifth Grade Students
Daniella DiPaola
We suggest viewing recorded demo in advance of Q&A
11:30-12:30Autonomous Vehicle Fleets as Public Infrastructure
Thomas Gilbert and Roel Dobbe
Madeleine Clare Elish
12:30-1:30Lunch Break
1:30-2:30Predicting Consumer Contracts
Noam Kolt
Meg Mitchell
2:30-3:00Break
Live Demo Q&A
Societal Implications of Large Language Models
Miles Brundage
We suggest viewing recorded demo in advance of Q&A
3:00-4:00Anti-Discrimination Law’s Cybernetic Black Hole
Marc Canellas
Cynthia Khoo
4:00-4:30Break
4:30-5:30Health Robotics Panel
Moderator: Michelle Johnson
5:30-5:45Awards of Prizes for Best Poster, Best Paper (Jr. Scholars), Best Paper (Sr. Scholars)
Summary & Conclusion
Announcement of next We Robot
Kate Darling
Michael Froomkin
Posted in AI, Robots, Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

Quality Trolling

If only my trolls were this clever.

Source: Crooks & Liars, Troll Of The Week: ‘Funeral Home’ Sponsors Advert Against Vaccines.

Posted in COVID-19 | Leave a comment

If It’s a Commie Plot, Why Aren’t ‘Patriots’ More Into Fighting It?

Doug Holland’s comment on the previous post sparks an interesting question I have not seen raised elsewhere.

Holland writes, in the context of vaccine resistors,

The whole endless show is an invitation to the Russkies or Chinese. If they ever have an urge to attack, like we’ve been told for decades they’re itching to, they should use a biological agent against Americans. Even if there’s an easy way to prevent the infection, millions and millions of us are so stupid we’ll refuse it.

Which makes me wonder: I would imagine that many of the same people who object to COVID vaccinations also think COVID was released from a Chinese lab. Thus, the “China virus”.

But if you really thought that COVID was a Chinese plot, why wouldn’t you, as a patriotic, red-blooded, American, want to be first in line to defang that plot? Even if it meant wearing masks everywhere and taking a supposedly ‘untested’ vaccine [corrected] with various mysterious risks that you heard might have felled someone’s cousin’s friend?

Indeed, neither vaccination nor mask-wearing has been sold much as a patriotic activity. Why is that?

Posted in COVID-19, Politics: US: Healthcare | 4 Comments

Bloomberg Commentator Comes Real Close to Saying DeSantis Has Chosen to Kill People

Here is Jon Authors in his “Points of Return” newsletter for Sept. 16, 2021:

Looking at the numbers for Texas and Florida, the two large states where Republican governors have vocally refused to enforce social distancing and where there is great skepticism toward the vaccine, the results are startling. I compiled the following chart the same way as the earlier comparison of the U.S. and the U.K., indexing both states’ death rates to the peak in the first wave, which in the southern U.S. came in August last year. As with the U.S. and the U.K., the pattern was remarkably similar until early this summer. Since then, Texas has endured a clear-cut third wave. The experience in Florida is remarkable, and suggests that there is more to the problem than vaccine hesitancy:

Unlike virtually anywhere else in the Western world, Florida is in the midst of a third wave much worse than the first two. Without getting too political, this makes the state’s current policies toward the virus very hard to understand; and also makes the current death toll look like the result of deliberate decisions, both by politicians and individuals. This is only a hypothesis, and it looks as though there is more to the Floridian third wave than resistance to vaccines, but numbers like this help explain why investors are calm.

Let me repeat the key bit: “Without getting too political, this makes the state’s current policies toward the virus very hard to understand; and also makes the current death toll look like the result of deliberate decisions, both by politicians and individuals.”

Thank you, Ron DeSantis!

Posted in COVID-19, Florida | 1 Comment

We Robot is Next Week!!!

WeRobot 2021

We Robot, now heading into its 10th anniversary, is the leading North American conference on robotics law and policy. The 2021 event will be hosted by the University of Miami School of Law on September 23 – 25, 2021.

NOW VIRTUAL
Due to safety concerns we’ve decided to take We Robot to a fully virtual format again.

Earn CLE
19.0 Florida CLE credits approved, including 19.0 in technology, 1.0 in ethics, and 3.5 in bias elimination.

Register Today!

New virtual prices:
Workshop on Sept. 23: $25.00
Admission for both days, Sept. 24 & 25: $49.00
All students and UM Faculty for all 3 days: $25.00

Although we’d looked forward to welcoming you back to Coral Gables and will not be able to see you in person, we look forward very much to your virtual participation in We Robot 2021. The heart of We Robot has always been its participants, and we will do all we can to preserve that. See you (virtually) soon!

For more information, visit WeRobot2021.com

See Full Program

September 23 – 25, 2021

Posted in AI, Robots, Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment