Category Archives: AI

#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.

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#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
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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

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We Robot Paper Submission Deadline Extended One Week

Everyone says it’s harder to get things done under COVID, so we’re extending the deadline for submission of paper abstracts to We Robot 2021 by one week – to midnight US East Coast time on February 8, 2021.

We will attempt to keep to the rest of the schedule, but paper acceptance notices may end up slightly delayed also.

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Just Uploaded–Big Data: Destroyer of Informed Consent (Final Text)

I’ve just uploaded the final text of Big Data: Destroyer of Informed Consent which is due to appear Real Soon Now in a special joint issue of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics and the Yale Journal of Law and Technology. This pre-publication version has everything the final version will have except the correct page numbers. Here’s the abstract:

The ‘Revised Common Rule’ took effect on January 21, 2019, marking the first change since 2005 to the federal regulation that governs human subjects research conducted with federal support or in federally supported institutions. The Common Rule had required informed consent before researchers could collect and use identifiable personal health information. While informed consent is far from perfect, it is and was the gold standard for data collection and use policies; the standard in the old Common Rule served an important function as the exemplar for data collection in other contexts.

Unfortunately, true informed consent seems incompatible with modern analytics and ‘Big Data’. Modern analytics hold out the promise of finding unexpected correlations in data; it follows that neither the researcher nor the subject may know what the data collected will be used to discover. In such cases, traditional informed consent in which the researcher fully and carefully explains study goals to subjects is inherently impossible. In response, the Revised Common Rule introduces a new, and less onerous, form of “broad consent” in which human subjects agree to as varied forms of data use and re-use as researchers’ lawyers can squeeze into a consent form. Broad consent paves the way for using identifiable personal health information in modern analytics. But these gains for users of modern analytics come with side-effects, not least a substantial lowering of the aspirational ceiling for other types of information collection, such as in commercial genomic testing.

Continuing improvements in data science also cause a related problem, in that data thought by experimenters to have been de-identified (and thus subject to more relaxed rules about use and re-use) sometimes proves to be re-identifiable after all. The Revised Common Rule fails to take due account of real re-identification risks, especially when DNA is collected. In particular, the Revised Common Rule contemplates storage and re-use of so-called de-identified biospecimens even though these contain DNA that might be re-identifiable with current or foreseeable technology.

Defenders of these aspects of the Revised Common Rule argue that ‘data saves lives.’ But even if that claim is as applicable as its proponents assert, the effects of the Revised Common Rule will not be limited to publicly funded health sciences, and its effects will be harmful elsewhere.

An earlier version, presented at the Yale symposium which the conference volume memorializes, engendered significant controversy — the polite form of howls of rage in a few cases — from medical professionals looking forward to working with Big Data. Since even the longer final version is shorter, and if only for that reason clearer, than much of what I write I wouldn’t be surprised if the final version causes some fuss too.

Posted in Administrative Law, AI, Science/Medicine, Writings | Leave a comment

Peek Behind the Curtain

Photo by Nick Lockey

This essay in Forbes, Today’s Deep Learning Is Like Magic – In All The Wrong Ways, is making the blog rounds and for a good reason — it’s a quick distillation of some essential truths about “AI” aka “Deep Learning” that the public needs to hear.

Posted in AI | 5 Comments