Category Archives: Talks & Conferences

Video of Panel on “Regulating Safety and Quality” of Medical AI

Recently (June 1, 2019), I participated in a conference on AI & Medicine called Machine M.D.  The organizers at the University of Ottawa have posted video from the event, so here’s Panel #1 on “Regulating Safety and Quality“.  I was the first speaker, early in the morning…

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Machine M.D. in Ottawa

I’m in Ottawa today for the Machine M.D. conference.  My panel, on “Regulating Health and Safety” started at 8:30am, so now that it’s over I get to enjoy the rest of the very packed schedule.

(I’m missing the also wonderful annual Privacy Law Scholars conference to be here, an example of the difficulties in trying to write in, and keep up in, multiple areas even within technology law.)

My argument in my talk was that, contrary to a number of articles by others that are now in press, we don’t want a super-AI regulator, but rather need to find a way to strengthen the AI capacity of existing sectoral regulators like the FDA, NHTSA and many others.  The exception(s) to this general rule arise(s) only if the AI aspect of a regulatory question predominates over the sectoral — something I argue is rare, and probably limited to issues regarding access to data, to data quality, to job losses due to AI, and possibly to the regulation (or at least liability for) AI emergent behavior.

Unsurprisingly, some members of the audience, many of whom are health professionals, pushed back against the idea that when it comes to AI health really isn’t all that different from transport, finance, sentencing, or other predictive profiling applications. A polite discussion — we are after all in Canada — ensued.

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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.

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Everybody Loves Blockchain?

This evening I’m attending an event on “Blockchain: Business, Regulation, Law and the Way Forward” featuring Jerry Britto (Coin Center), Marcia Weldon (MiamiLaw), and Samir Patel (Holland & Knight).

The event is organized jointly by three student groups: the Federalist Society, the Business law Society, and the Alliance Against Human Trafficking. That’s a pretty eclectic group. I think it shows how widely the blockchain dream has taken hold.

And yet, despite this, not absolutely everyone loves blockchain.  I for one am somewhat skeptical, as I think the use cases are much more limited than the optimists would have it.  Indeed, my views are almost summarized by this great graphic, which sets out a decision tree for people thinking of using blockchain:

Yes, the reality is a bit more complicated, but if you can’t explain why the above doesn’t apply to you, you probably shouldn’t be using blockchain….

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We Robot 2019 Video Promo

The good folks in A/V re-purposed some footage we shot for incoming students, and now we have a We Robot promo:

I think the camera adds at least ten pounds…

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We Robot 2019 Preliminary Program

We have an action-packed lineup planned for We Robot 2019. The main conference is April 12-13, with an optional workshop day on April 11. I’ve put the schedule below; you should register now for We Robot 2019 if you haven’t already.

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