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.
As robots leave the factory and battlefield and enter our homes, hospitals, and skies, it is not clear who will come to regulate them. But we can begin to spot some interesting patterns. Students of this transformative technology should keep their eye on both the claims and disavowals of authority over robots by state and federal agencies. Each hold potential dangers for our civil liberties and for the future of robotics.
The Los Angeles Times quotes me over the weekend in its front page story about the use of a Predator B drone to catch a civilian suspect in North Dakota. In my comments, I allude to how the domestic use of drones may paradoxically help drag privacy law into the twenty-first century. Stanford Law Review Online just published my short article on this topic. You can find the full text here. Thoughts welcome.
Not many people in the legal academy study artificial intelligence or robotics. One fellow enthusiast, Kenneth Anderson at American University, posed a provocative question over at Volokh Conspiracy yesterday: will the Nobel Prize for literature ever go to a software engineer who writes a program that writes a novel?
What I like about Ken’s question is its basic plausibility. Software has already composed original music and helped invent a new type of toothbrush. It does the majority of stock trading. Software could one day write a book. A focus on the achievable is also what I find compelling about Larry Solum’s exploration of whether AI might serve as an executor of a trust or Ian Kerr’s discussion of the effects of software agents on commerce.
The term “hacking” has come to signify breaking into a computer system. A number of local, national, and international laws seek to hold hackers accountable for breaking into computer systems to steal information or disrupt their operation. Other laws and standards incentivize private firms to use best practices in securing computers against attack.
"But a word of caution comes by way of Ryan Calo, a privacy expert and law professor at the University of Washington.
"You have to trust that the person who designed the bot knows what they're doing," Calo said. "A small error could invalidate whoever's using it, right?""
"Her fictional scenario fits right into issues tackled by the burgeoning field of robot law, according to University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo. “There’s a physical, biological set of understandings that permeate the Constitution,” he said. For example, we give every person a vote, and we give every person the right to reproduce. But what if an AI can reproduce 10 million versions of itself every second? Do we give all of them a vote? And what if a robot wants to run for president? Does it have to wait 35 years, even if it is born with adult-level consciousness?
"At the outset, the goal of this research was to use sports as a way to answer questions about law enforcement. The criminal justice system is much more complicated than an athletic institution, the problems are weightier, and the consequences more dire. But even though it’s not a not a perfect parallel, Ryan Calo, who studies law and technology at the University of Washington, says that the research helps explain how people respond when machines lay down the law.
"Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington, says that we tend to talk about robots as if they are a future technology, ignoring the fact that we have already been living with them for several decades. “If you want to envisage the future in the 1920s, 1940s, 1980s, or in 2017, then you think of robots. But the reality is that robots have been in our societies since the 1950s,” he says."
"It’s less clear how such measures might help government officials and regulators grappling with the effects of smarter software in areas like privacy. “I’m not sure how useful it’ll be,” says Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who recently proposed a detailed roadmap of AI policy issues. He argues that decisionmakers need a high-level grasp of the underlying technology, and a strong sense of values, more than granular measures of progress."
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. -
Facebook is still reeling from the revelation that a British firm, Cambridge Analytica, improperly used millions of its users’ data. #DeleteFacebook is trending and those in the tech world are closely watching how users react to the news.
Can the tech giant turn a new leaf? What data are we willing to give up for the convenience of platforms? And would paying for services like Facebook solve the problem?
Nobody likes to wait in line. So today, Amazon removed that unpleasantness from the neighborhood grocery store. At Amazon Go, you walk in, pick up your groceries and walk out.
There are no checkout lines or scanners and almost no employees, just sensors and cameras. But what is that convenience going to cost you? We talk with Geekwire’s Todd Bishop and University of Washington law professor and privacy expert Ryan Calo.
Listen to the full interview at KUOW 94.9
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.