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.
I’m in the middle of writing a paper on liability for harm caused by (or with) personal robots. The paper grows out of a panel that Dan Siciliano and I organized around the present, near future, and far future of robotics and the law. I’ve recently received some media coverage that, while welcome and accurate, presents a danger of oversimplifying my position. Specifically, a few people have understood my remarks to suggest that manufacturers should enjoy total immunity for the personal robots they build and sell, merely because doing otherwise would chill innovation.
This post develops my position in a little more detail. On my view, robotics manufacturers should be immune from certain theories of civil liability—particularly those premised on the range of a robot’s functionality. I don’t believe that the law should bar accountability for roboticists in all instances. Nor am I by any means certain that my suggestion represents the exact right way to handle liability. But I am convinced that we should talk about the issue. The alternative is to risk missing out on a massive global advance in technology capable of substantially better our world. Read more » about Robotics & The Law: Liability For Personal Robots
The ACLU of Northern California has officially launched dotRights, a comprehensive set of materials and tools to learn about, and act upon, privacy and free speech on the Internet. Complete with an interactive village covering topics from cloud computing to e-book privacy, this website and campaign represent a game-changing resource for anyone (company, activist, regulator, or consumer) who cares about privacy and free speech on the Internet. Congratulations and great work!
PS: You can follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Read more » about ACLU of Northern California Launches dotRights
I'm moderating an upcoming panel on law and robotics, co-sponsored by the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance and the Stanford Program in Law Science and Technology's Center for Computers and Law (CodeX). Details below. Register here.
November 12, 2009 from 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Stanford Law School, Room 190
5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. Reception
6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. Panel
Once relegated to factories and fiction, robots are rapidly entering the mainstream. Advances in artificial intelligence translate into ever-broadening functionality and autonomy. Recent years have seen an explosion in the use of robotics in warfare, medicine, and exploration. Industry analysts and UN statistics predict equally significant growth in the market for personal or service robotics over the next few years. What unique legal challenges will the widespread availability of sophisticated robots pose? Three panelists with deep and varied expertise discuss the present, near future, and far future of robotics and the law. Read more » about Legal Challenges In An Age Of Robotics
An Australian court rules that a mortgage company can issue notice of a lien over Facebook. A court in the UK permits an injunction to be served via Twitter. A woman is arrested in Tennessee for “poking” someone over Facebook in violation of a protective order. Meanwhile, a 1978 provision of the Bankruptcy Code still provides that notice shall “be published at least once a week for three successive weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation.” New forms (and norms) of communication are both expanding and contracting the avenues for legally meaningful notice. Just how do we know, in this uncharted new landscape, when notice is enough? Read more » about Pokes, Tweets, And Legally Significant Notice
I've blogged before about the impact of anthropomorphic interfaces and devices. I've recently written an article on the subject. In it I point out that we're using voice-driven and other human-like interfaces more and more. They grab our attention and free up our hands for others tasks. And they can help us accept machines---such as personal or service robots---for a whole new set of tasks.
Psychologists and communications scholars will tell you, however, that our brains are hardwired to treat these "fake" people as though they were real, including with respect to the feeling of being observed and evaluated. That means that we react to such technology, behaviorally and physiologically, as though a person were really present.
This could be bad for privacy. Privacy scholars will tell you that its not good for us to always feel like we're surrounded by others. We need "moments offstage," to use Alan Westin's famous formulation. It could also be good for privacy, particularly on the Internet. Using avatars instead of privacy policies that no one reads or understands could help shore up the failing regime of online notice.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ROBOTS? Our fascination with these machines dates back centuries. The ancient Greeks built them. Robots haunted the Industrial Revolution. For a time in the 1980s, the decade that brought us Short Circuit, The Terminator and RoboCop, it seemed that the United States had caught robot fever. Read more » about They're watching. How can that be a good thing?
The next step in transformative technology is already here, and the United States runs the risk of getting left behind. Read more » about The Need to Be Open: U.S. Laws Are Killing the Future of Robotic
"Is there such a thing as a robot? An excellent paper by Ryan Calo proposes that there is such a thing as a robot, and that, moreover, many of the thorniest, most interesting legal problems on our horizon will involve them." Read more » about Why it is not possible to regulate robots
"Robotics and law expert Ryan Calo seems to think that laws around telepresence are inevitable: “Today’s telepresence permits people to communicate more fully,” he says. ”Free speech principles preclude interference by the government. Tomorrow’s telepresence, however, will allow surgeons and others to act on the world in ways that law will feel compelled to reach.”" Read more » about Snowden BEAMs into TED: How robotic telepresence disrupts borders
"“If you want to surreptitiously record someone, there are much better things than Glass,” University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo said. “The reason that this is elevated to a national conversation is precisely because we are moving from handheld to wearable devices, and this is part of the growing pains we are seeing around that.”" Read more » about Alleged Google Glass attack victim accused of recording neighbors
"“The judge noted in passing that the FAA’s public communication around defining UAS [unmanned air systems] was technically defective. He didn’t rely on this alleged defect—rather, he said even in talking about UAS, the FAA excluded modelers like Pirker again,” says drone law expert Ryan Calo." Read more » about Drone Wars (Of The Legal Variety)
""I think that iBeacon is part of a dangerous trend," says Ryan Calo, assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. "Consumers believe in the short run that this is good for them, in the sense they'll be seeing deals, but it may be bad for consumers overall."" Read more » about Meet iBeacon: Location tracking to help you shop
For more information and to RSVP visit The New America Foundation's website. Webcast also available.
CIS Affiliate Scholar Ryan Calo part of panel titled "Delivery Drones and Robot Babysitters". Read more » about Can We Imagine Our Way to a Better Future?
Roundtable with experts Professor Ronald C. Arkin, Professor Ryan Calo, Dr. Kate Darling, Professor Illah Nourbakhsh, and Professor Noel Sharkey
Moderated by Professor Jennifer Urban
Friday, July 11, 3:30 pm
Boalt Hall Goldberg Room
Robots are quickly moving out of controlled environments into public spaces and homes, and researchers are developing artificial intelligence systems that will allow robots to make decisions autonomously. How should society plan for this transition? Read more » about Our Robot Future: The Moral, Ethical, and Legal Challenges of Ubiquitous Robotic Systems
Humans and Machines — Drones, Phones, and Robotic Friends: Where is Emergent Technology Taking Us? On June 27 at 8:30 p.m. with speakers Mary “Missy” Cummings, Ryan Calo, Ken Goldberg and moderator David Kirkpatrick.
As the landscape of high tech is increasingly modernized through applications of robotics from operating theaters to rescue missions, smarter phones that manage our lives, and flying technologies that put cameras (and weapons) in the air (if not everywhere), how will the balance of law, ethics, and relationships between humans and machines change us? Read more » about Drones, Phones, and Robotic Friends: Where is Emergent Technology Taking Us?
2013 PRIVACY PAPERS FOR POLICY MAKERS
The Future of Privacy Forum
Co-chairs Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf
in conjunction with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee invite you to
“Privacy Papers for Policy Makers”
A discussion of leading privacy research Read more » about Privacy Papers for Policy Makers
CIS Affiliate Scholars Peter Asaro, Ryan Calo and Woodrow Hartzog are listed as participants for We Robot 2014. Robotics is becoming a transformative technology. We Robot 2014 builds on existing scholarship exploring the role of robotics to examine how the increasing sophistication of robots and their widespread deployment everywhere from the home, to hospitals, to public spaces, and even to the battlefield disrupts existing legal regimes or requires rethinking of various policy issues. If you are on the front lines of robot theory, design, or development, we hope to see you. Read more » about We Robot 2014
The era of cloud computing has introduced unprecedented computing power and convenience to the way we work and live. But the privacy laws that protect the content we stored in the cloud are nearly 30 years old, and were written during a time when the today’s capabilities couldn’t possibly have been anticipated. As a result, technology has emerged that does not fit within the constraints defined by the law.
This podcast features an interview with Ryan Calo, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Washington. Read more » about ECPA Limitations: Privacy Law and the Cloud
Listen to the full interview at Marketplace Tech.
"It was about consumer convenience," says Ryan Calo, a professor of internet and privacy law at the University of Washington. "The idea is that you drop a little file on a person’s computer and then you know them again when you see them." Read more » about Where all those digital cookies came from
CIS Affiliate Scholar David Levine interviews Prof. Ryan Calo of University of Washington School of Law and Woodrow Hartzog of Cumberland School of Law on robotics law. Read more » about Prof. Ryan Calo and Woodrow Hartzog - Hearsay Culture Show #213 - KZSU-FM