Of Interest

  • Is it Hate or Terrorism?

    Date published: 
    June 13, 2016

    ""It's easy for people to be selective about the incidents and evidence they choose to fit the narrative they're putting forth," says University at Albany public administration professor Brian Nussbaum, a former intelligence analyst with the New York State office of Counterterrorism. Nussbaum sees the Orlando event as both a hate crime and a terror attack – but politicians with widely divergent bases of political support are parsing the issue."

  • Where Can You Even “Drive” a Driverless Car?

    Date published: 
    June 10, 2016

    "“Under existing law, the federal government regulates motor vehicle design, and the states regulate driving and noncommercial drivers,” says Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor of at the University of South Carolina who studies driverless cars. “The challenge here is you have the vehicle becoming the driver in many ways. That muddies this division of roles between the federal government and the state government.”"

  • Self-Driving Cars Will Teach Themselves to Save Lives—But Also Take Them

    Date published: 
    June 9, 2016

    “With Go or chess or Space Invaders, the goal is to win, and we know what winning looks like,” says Lin. “But in ethical decision-making, there is no clear goal. That’s the whole trick. Is the goal to save as many lives as possible? Is the goal to not have the responsibility for killing? There is a conflict in the first principles.”

  • Why is Google's co-founder secretly investing in flying cars?

    Date published: 
    June 9, 2016

    ""Silicon Valley is full of secret projects: Flying cars are almost quaint by comparison (since people have been proposing them for decades)," Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law who studies the technology, tells the Monitor in an email. "They will raise pretty significant environmental and equity concerns.""

  • Modern variations on the 'Trolley Problem' meme

    Date published: 
    June 8, 2016

    "The article then paraphrases philosophy professor Patrick Lin, whose work at Cal Poly focuses in part on the ethics of driverless cars. According to Lin, "On the one hand, [the trolley problem] is a great entry point and teaching tool for engineers with no background in ethics. On the other hand, its prevalence, whimsical tone, and iconic status can shield you from considering a wider range of dilemmas and ethical considerations.""

  • Lexus struggles with software bug: What this means for automakers

    Date published: 
    June 8, 2016

    "Even the stereo, which was affected by Lexus's update, can create an unsafe situation, robotics law expert Ryan Calo told the Monitor. For example, buggy software might cause the radio to blare suddenly, startling the driver and causing an accident.

    Tesla recently introduced a software update to control the whole vehicle, Dr. Calo tells the Monitor, although he says Lexus' update is technically not critical to safety. 

    The result, he says, is that "The line between control-critical and entertainment systems is not perfectly clean.""

  • Why you should think twice before spilling your guts to a chatbot

    Date published: 
    June 8, 2016

    "“Chatbots may be able to get us to say more about ourselves than an ordinary website,” says Ryan Calo, codirector of the Tech Policy Lab at the University of Washington.

    “Consider a chatbot that leverages the social principle of reciprocity,” says Mr. Calo. “If a chatbot, like an online form, just says: ‘Enter your age here,’ you might not. But if amidst a conversation with a chatbot it says, ‘I was created last year. When were you born?’ you well might. At least that's what experimental studies by Cliff Nass and others have shown.”"
  • It's Too Complicated: How the Internet Upends Katz, Smith, and Electronic Surveillance Law

    Author(s): 
    Stephanie Pell
    Publication Date: 
    June 7, 2016
    Publication Type: 
    Other Writing

    For more than forty years, electronic surveillance law in the United States developed under constitutional and statutory regimes that, given the technology of the day, distinguished content from metadata with ease and certainty. The stability of these legal regimes and the distinctions they facilitated was enabled by the relative stability of these types of data in the traditional telephone network and their obviousness to users. But what happens to these legal frameworks when they confront the Internet?

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