Ryan Calo is an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law and a former research director at CIS. A nationally recognized expert in law and emerging technology, Ryan's work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Wired Magazine, and other news outlets. Ryan serves on several advisory committees, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and the Future of Privacy Forum. He co-chairs the American Bar Association Committee on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and serves on the program committee of National Robotics Week.
Michael Froomkin, Ian Kerr, and I, along with a wonderful program committee of law scholars and roboticists, have for three years now put on a conference around law, policy, and robotics. “We Robot” returns to the University of Miami School of Law from Stanford Law School this year and boasts an extraordinary roster of authors, commentators, and participants. Folks like Jack Balkin, Ann Bartow, Kenneth Anderson, Woodrow Hartzog, Mary Anne Franks, Margot Kaminski, Kate Darling, and David Post, among many others. Not to mention a demo from a roboticist at the University of Washington whose lab built the surgical robot for the movie Ender’s Game.
I'm delighted to announce We Robot 2014, back at the University of Miami School of Law for its third year after a wonderful event at Stanford Law School last April. Cyberlaw is about more than the Internet. As Chris Anderson put it so well in another context, atoms are the new bits. I hope you will join us for another stimulating discussion of the intersection of law, policy, and robotics. Call for papers below. Be there, or be digital.
Recent research suggests a new trend among paranoid schizophrenics: they believe they are secretly being taped by hidden cameras for purposes of a reality show. I don't know quite what to make of this "fascinating cultural illness," to use Carla Casilli's eloquent label. This population is presumably going to pick some premise for their delusion; what does it matter whether their imagined antagonist is a demon or a director?
The Stanford Center for Internet and Society, where I am an affiliate scholar, is a thought leader on consumer privacy and a source for potential solutions. The CIS Cookie Clearinghouse, for instance, intends to publish lists of tracking cookies to block or allow based on objective, balanced criteria informed by consumer expectations. According to recent work by Daniel Solove and CIS affiliate scholar Woodrow Hartzog, Federal Trade Commission privacy enforcement is also trending toward upholding what consumers have come to expect regarding their data. Violating consumer expectations around privacy is probably itself a sufficient reason for intervention. Consumers who take steps not to be tracked, or who rely upon representations that they are not being tracked, shouldn't be. My new project, however, asks a different question: Why should consumers worry about being tracked in the first place? What exactly is the harm here?
When Florida v. Jardines, the case where an officer approached a house with a drug-sniffing dog, first came down, Orin Kerr and others noted that the Supreme Court majority never once used the word "trespass." The Jardines concurrence and dissent used the word, and the author of Jardines, Justice Scalia, had used "trespass" repeatedly in United States v. Jones from last term. So why doesn't he use the word in Jardines? Because there really is no trespass test? Because he has new clerks? Just a coincidence?
Over the last year, the FBI has had harsh words for Apple, accusing the tech giant of endangering human lives and aiding criminals by turning on encryption by default on the iPhone. When Google announced it would add the feature to Android, meaning that smartphone users would need to unlock their phones for police to be able to go through them, government officials and law enforcement representatives similarly freaked out.
Privacy law scholars tend to be skeptical of markets. Markets “unravel” privacy by penalizing consumers who prefer it, degrade privacy by treating it as just another commodity to be traded, and otherwise interfere with the values or processes that privacy exists to preserve.
In a fresh and recent whitepaper, Brookings Institution senior fellow Benjamin Wittes and law student Jodie Liu turn the standard privacy argument on its head: as they see it, many supposed threats to our privacy actually benefit it.
"How do you draw the line between prosecuting a robot that does harm and its creator? Who bears the burden of the crime or wrongdoing?
I recently got the chance to respond to a short story by a science fiction writer I admire. The author, Paulo Bacigalupi, imagines a detective investigating the “murder” of a man by his artificial companion. The robot insists it killed its owner intentionally in retaliation for abuse and demands a lawyer.
"yan Calo, a professor at the UW School of Law who specializes in privacy, robotics and cyberlaw issues, says the Bentonville Police Department’s fishing expedition is “unlikely to yield anything.” The reason is that the Echo sends information up to Amazon’s cloud only when it hears a wake word, usually “Alexa” or “Echo.”
"“It could be used to help people with disabilities, providing information about the world that their senses can’t access,” explains Ryan. “The fact that I’m able to drop everything and go to D.C. to help the Senate think about augmented reality — that’s a function of the support from Lane Powell.”
"“One is of course the legal status, one is regulating these technologies,” said Bryant Walker Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, asked about the questions hovering around the technology, “another is promoting, another is preparing for the broader changes.”"
"“The main thing is people talk about maintaining meaningful human control over weapons,” said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington. “There’s a lot of questions that remain.”"
"There are still considerable legal, technological and public perception problems to overcome, said Ryan Calo, a robotics law expert from the University of Washington School of Law.
The drone industry is trying to fight heavy local restrictions, fearing state regulations that vary greatly.
"It's amazing that people are being required to register a toy," Calo said. "All toys are potentially dangerous. You could hit someone in the head with a chessboard.""
U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. entitled “Exploring Augmented Reality.” The hearing will examine the emergence, benefits, and implications of augmented reality technologies. Unlike virtual reality that creates a wholly simulated reality, augmented reality attempts to superimpose images and visual data on the physical world in an intuitive way.
• Mr. Brian Blau, Research Vice President, Gartner
The University of Washington School of Law is delighted to announce a public workshop on the law and policy of artificial intelligence, co-hosted by the White House and UW’s Tech Policy Lab. The event places leading artificial intelligence experts from academia and industry in conversation with government officials interested in developing a wise and effective policy framework for this increasingly important technology. The event is free and open to the public but requires registration. -
CIS Affilate Scholar Ryan Calo wil be part of a panel titled "Understanding the Implications of Open Data".
How can open data promote trust in government without creating a transparent citizenry?
The University of Washington School of Law is delighted to announce a public workshop on the law and policy of artificial intelligence, co-hosted by the White House and UW’s Tech Policy Lab. The event places leading artificial intelligence experts from academia and industry in conversation with government officials interested in developing a wise and effective policy framework for this increasingly important technology.
Simon Jack reports from Seattle on robots at work. From the Boeing factory where robots make planes to a clothes shop where a robot helps him buy a new pair of jeans. Plus Ryan Calo, professor of law at the University of Washington, grapples with the question of who to blame when robots go wrong, and whether there is such a thing as robot rights.
There are a million ways people might use drones in the future, from deliveries and police work to journalism. But in this episode, we’re going to talk about consumer drones — something that you or I might use for ourselves. What does the world look like when everybody with a smart phone also has a drone?
"“We don’t need to get to this crazy world in which robots are trying to take over in order for there to be really difficult, interesting complex legal questions,” says Ryan Calo, professor of law at the University of Washington, “That’s happening right now.”
Here’s a sample:
“How do we make sure these drones are not recording things that they shouldn’t," Calo says, "and those things aren’t winding up .... on Amazon servers,or somehow getting out to the public or to law enforcement?"