Artificial Intelligence - A Legal Perspective

October 27, 2011 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Watch the entire panel discussion.

In the summer of 1956, several key figures in what would become known as the field of "artificial intelligence" met at Dartmouth College to brainstorm about the future of the synthetic mind. Artificial intelligence, broadly defined, has since become a part of everyday life. Although we are still waiting on promises of "strong AI" capable of approximating human thought, the widespread use of artificial intelligence has the potential to reshape medicine, finance, war, and other important aspects of society. The Center for Internet and Society, along with the Stanford Law and Technology Association (SLATA), and the Stanford Technology Law Review (STLR) bring together four scholars who have begun to examine the near term, short term, and long term ramifications of artificial intelligence for law and society. This panel follows up on our Legal Challenges in an Age of Robotics panel from November 2009.

Moderator: Ryan Calo, Director of Privacy and Robotics at CIS

Ian Kerr: Prior to his appointment to the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa in 2000, Ian Kerr held a joint appointment in the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Information & Media Studies and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. His devotion to teaching has earned six awards and citations, including the Bank of Nova Scotia Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Graduate Studies' Award of Teaching Excellence, and the University of Ottawa's AEECLSS Teaching Excellence Award. IIn 2001, Professor Kerr was awarded the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology. He has published writings in academic books and journals on ethical and legal aspects of digital copyright, automated electronic commerce, artificial intelligence, cybercrime, nanotechnology, internet regulation, ISP and intermediary liability, online defamation, pre-natal injuries and unwanted pregnancies.

John O. McGinnis: Professor John O. McGinnis is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He also has an MA degree from Balliol College, Oxford, in philosophy and theology. Professor McGinnis clerked on U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. From 1987 to 1991, He was deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Professor McGinnis is a scholar in both the areas of constitutional and international law. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives has added him to the roster of Americans who can be appointed as panelists to resolve World Trade Organization disputes. He is a past winner of Paul Bator award given by the Federalist Society to an outstanding academic under 40.

Lawrence B. Solum: Lawrence B. Solum is an internationally recognized legal theorist, who works in constitutional theory, procedure, and the philosophy of law. Professor Solum received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and received his B.A. with highest departmental honors in philosophy from the University of California at Los Angeles. While at Harvard, he served as an Editor of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation, he worked for the law firm of Cravath, Swaine, and Moore in New York, and then clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Solum was the John E. Cribbet Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois. He was a member of the law faculty of the University of San Diego, where he received the Thornes Prize as Best Teacher. He also taught at Loyola Marymount University and has been a Visiting Professor of Law at Boston University, at the University of Southern California, and Georgetown Law.

Mary-Anne Williams: Professor Mary-Anne Williams is a robotist, Director of the Magic Lab, and Associate Dean (Research and Development) in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). She is a Guest Professor at the University of Science and Technology China, and Review Editor for the Artificial Intelligence Journal, Associate Editor of the International Journal of Social Robotics, and serves on the Editorial Board the American Artificial Intelligence Association/MIT Press among others. Mary-Anne has a PhD in Computer Science and a Masters in Law, and is a leading authority in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning with transdisciplinary strengths in Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Risk Management, Cognitive Robotics and Law. She is the recipient of the 1994 Australasian Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award in Computer Science, and more recently a 2007 IBM Faculty Award. Mary-Anne has received several prestigious fellowship awards including a Commonwealth Fellowship from the Australian Academy of Science, a Pauli Fellowship from the Austrian Government, and a British Council Fellowship. She is coach of the UTS Robot Soccer team and since 2002 has created and lead seven robot soccer teams to outstanding success at the International Robot Soccer World Cup. This year she took a humanoid robot team and a 3D robot simulation team to the 2011 RoboCup Championships in Istanbul. Mary-Anne works with her research team at UTS to bring science fiction to reality; together they design and


Jamais Cascio gave a great talk some time ago at the Bay Area Artificial Intelligence Meetup (which I organize) named "Cascio's Law of Robotics". It might be relevant for this discussion also. Spoiler: The "Laws" are laws for robot makers, not the robots themselves :-)
The talk was video recorded and posted on (scroll down a bit).

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