Publications

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The rediscovery of this writer in the Renaissance opened the way to the modern world (and, more important, the invention of political science)

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
August 22, 2015
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

The work of the the Roman writer Lucretius was lost to the world for more than a thousand years. When his poem “De Rerum Natura” was rediscovered in the Renaissance, Lucretius’s ideas slowly started to percolate through Renaissance Europe, making it possible to imagine a world that was not shaped by everyday divine intervention, in which we could begin to study both the universe and the behavior of human beings in their own terms. Niccolo Machiavelli was among the thinkers profoundly shaped by Lucretius’s ideas.

Europe is being torn by an angry argument. This time, it’s not the euro’s fault.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
August 12, 2015
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Over the last few weeks, the European Union has been torn apart by bitter disagreement over a new crisis: the huge numbers of refugees and migrants who are turning up at Europe’s doorstep. Last month, nearly 50,000 refugees arrived in Greece alone. Migrants wanting to get to the United Kingdom have formed an encampment around the port town of Calais, leading to scare-mongering statements by British politicians and alarmist headlines in tabloid newspapers.

The dangers of trusting robots

Author(s): 
Woodrow Hartzog
Publication Date: 
August 12, 2015
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

In February, a South Korean woman was sleeping on the floor when her robot vacuum ate her hair, forcing her to call for emergency help. It may not be the dystopian future that Stephen Hawking warned us about – where intelligent devices “spell the end of the human race” – but it does highlight one of the unexpected dangers of inviting robots into our home.

Ban Killer Robots before They Become Weapons of Mass Destruction

Author(s): 
Peter Asaro
Publication Date: 
August 7, 2015
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Last week the Future of Life Institute released a letter signed by some 1,500 artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and technology researchers. Among them were celebrities of science and the technology industry—Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak—along with public intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky and Daniel Dennett. The letter called for an international ban on offensive autonomous weapons, which could target and fire weapons without meaningful human control.

Privacy and Markets: A Love Story

Author(s): 
Ryan Calo
Publication Date: 
August 6, 2015
Publication Type: 
Academic Writing

Abstract:      

Law and economics tends to be skeptical of privacy, finding privacy overrated, inefficient, and perhaps even immoral. Law should not protect privacy because privacy inhibits the market by allowing people to hide useful information. 

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.

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