Monthly Archives: April 2019

The Robots Are Coming

Police in Washington County, Oregon, have responded to a distress call from a woman claiming her home was being burgled, only to discover a robotic vacuum trapped inside the bathroom.

Woman calls 911 over home invader. It was a Roomba.

Of course some day, someone really will figure out how to use a robot to do a burglary.  Or, more likely, subvert one via your smart home.

We’ll be talking about what robots are actually coming, what they may do, and how we should prepare for it, at We Robot 2019, which starts tomorrow. Advance registration is closed, but on-site registration will be available.

Posted in Robots, Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

Traffic Simulator

Check out the Traffic Simulator.

Being from Miami, first thing I did is set the slider to simulate less-polite drivers under “lane-changing behavior”. Chaos ensues.

Next up, traffic cones everywhere.  Pretty soon it will look just like local roads!

Posted in Internet, Miami | 1 Comment

We Robot 2019 Will Have a Livestream

If you can’t make it to Coral Gables, you can still follow the We Robot main conference, April 12-13, via our Livestream. (Apologies, but we are not streaming the Workshops.) And follow on Tiwtter with hashtag #WeRobot.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We’ve Found Some Racially Unbiased Judges? (Updated)

I’m at the University of Florida Levin College of Law 2019 Technology, Media & Privacy Law (TMPL) Conference. One of the speakers, Michael Braga, pointed us to a series of articles on racial bias in judical sentencing in Florida (TL/DR: there’s a lot of it).

I found one of the articles online which included this arresting chart:

Click for bigger picture

Orange bars are length of sentences given to blacks, grey to whites.  The first column is all Florida judges.  Each subsequent column is some subgroup of judges, either all whites/all blacks, male whites/blacks.  The last column on the right–the only group that sentences both groups equally–is female black judges. Does this mean we should prioritize appointing black women as judges until we can figure out how to eradicate bias in other groups?

PS. And yes, I realize there are probably so few female black judges in Florida that that this might reflect the exceptional  personal characteristics of the ones who survived the sieving process that keeps them off the bench.  But there might well be more where they came from.

Update: A later speaker mentioned that while the black female judges were the most even-handed they also gave the longest sentences across the board.  So much so that a black defendant often might be better off appearing in front a white male judge even if that judge gave longer sentences to blacks than whites — because even the biased sentences were shorter overall.

Posted in Law: Criminal Law | Leave a comment

Law School Course Selection Advice Updated

I’ve just updated my page on law school course selection advice. In addition to minor updates, I added a section on what not to take.

Posted in Law School | Leave a comment

Brexit Follies

I dedicate this video to the British MPs who today, once again, voted against every single possible option for Brexit.

Posted in Politics: Brexit | Leave a comment