Archive | March, 2016

Poster Presentations at We Robot 2016

We have a very international and interdisciplinary list of poster presenters and topics for our Friday afternoon sessions:

Poster Presentations

Legal Personhood for Robots: Parallels, Lessons, and Suggestions
Migle Laukyte, UC3M Conex – Marie Curie Fellow at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain).

Robots vs. Monkeys: Intellectual Property Rights of Non-Human Creators
Charles M. Roslof, Legal Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation
Tiffany Li, Privacy Fellow, Wikimedia Foundation

The Ethical Characteristics of Autonomous Robots

Fahad Alaieri, Electronic Business Program, University of Ottawa (Canada) & Management Information Systems, Qassim University (Saudi Arabia)

Honours Course on Robot Law at the Universities of Amsterdam
Robert Van den Hoven van Gendern, VU University of Amsterdam & Center for Law and Internet and Intellectual Property(CLI) of Transnational Studies (TLS), VU University of Amsterdam

Regulatory Framework for a Cloud-based Architecture that Supports a LEGO® Play-based Robot-mediated Therapy for Children with ASD
Eduard Fosch Villaronga, Università di Bologna
Jordi Albo-Canals, La Salle BCN – Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain / Tufts University

Should We Re-interpret the Confrontation Clause or Revise the Rules of Evidence to Provide a Different Type of Right to “Confront” Machine Witnesses?”
Brian Sites, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law

Software Intelligence (SI) Dependent Legal Personhood & SI-Human Amalgamation (SIHA)– an Evolutionary Step for Patent Law
Joanna Bac, Aberdeen University

Creating Learning Spaces for the Digital Age: The Philosophy and Governance of Emerging Technologies Course at Notre Dame de Namur University
William Barry, Notre Dame de Namur University
Maria Rachelle, Notre Dame de Namur University

Human Interactions with Robots: Law, Policy, Ethics after Ashcroft v. FSC (US 2002)
Vickie Sutton, Texas Tech University School of Law

Patentability Of Dualistic Inventions
Charles Walter, University of Houston College of Engineering & College of Law

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We Robot 2016 Approved for Florida CLE

We’re happy to announce that the Florida Bar has approved We Robot 2016 for 25.0 credits of General CLE, including 3.5 Ethics credits.

One more reason for lawyers to attend!

 

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William D. Smart on “The Robot Revolution has been Rescheduled (until we can debug the sensors)”: Technical Aspects of Robotics

On March 31, We Robot 2016 will host four workshops designed by experts to help people from other disciplines get up to speed in their specialty. We hope these workshops will be attended by people who want to learn about the topics, and by people willing to share their expertise with both experts and neophytes.

William D. Smart

William D. Smart

We talk about robots all the time, but do we really know what a robot is? What can they do? What do they have difficulty doing? Will they rise up and kill all humans? In this workshop, we’ll discuss what’s hard about building robots and getting them to work in the real world. We’ll look at current robotic technologies, and what the current and near-future limits of these technologies are. To hammer the point home, we’ll build a complete mobile robot during the workshop, get it to do a simple task, and laugh at it when it fails. We’ll also play around with a robot speed camera, and see if we can trick it into not giving us a speeding ticket. The goal of the workshop is to give you an insight into the mechanical minds (and eyes and arms and legs) of robots, and a realistic understanding of what they can currently do, and what they might be able to do in the near future.

William D. Smart will join We Robot 2016 to hold a workshop on “The Robot Revolution has been Rescheduled (until we can debug the sensors)”: Technical Aspects of Robotics on Thursday, March 31st at 2:00 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Bill Smart is an Associate Professor at Oregon State University, where he co-directs the Robotics program.  He holds a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in Computer Science from Brown University, an M.Sc. in Intelligent Robotics from the University of Edinburgh, and a B.Sc. (hons) in Computer Science from the University of Dundee.  Prior to moving to Oregon State in 2012, he was an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, with a courtesy appointment in Biomedical Engineering, at Washington University in St. Louis.  His research interests cover the fields of human-robot interaction, machine learning, and mobile robotics.  His recent work has focused on how robots and robotic technologies can be used for people with severe motor disabilities.  He is particularly proud of his Erdős (3), and his Bacon number (also 3).

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Daniel Sciliano on ‘Funding the Future: Financial Aspects of Robotics’

On March 31, We Robot 2016 will host four workshops designed by experts to help people from other disciplines get up to speed in their specialty. We hope these workshops will be attended by people who want to learn about the topics, and by people willing to share their expertise with both experts and neophytes.

Daniel Sciliano

Daniel Sciliano

Dan Siciliano will join We Robot 2016 to hold a workshop on Funding the Future: Financial Aspects of Robotics on Thursday, March 31st at 3:45 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. F. Daniel Siciliano, JD ’04, is a legal scholar and entrepreneur with expertise in corporate governance, corporate finance, and immigration law. He assumes a variety of leadership roles at the law school, including faculty director of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, associate dean for executive education and special programs and co-director of Stanford’s Directors’ College. He is also the co-originator of the OSCGRS (Open Source Corporate Governance Reporting System) Project. Previously, Siciliano was a teaching fellow for the law school’s international LLM degree program in Corporate Governance and Practice and executive director of the Program in Law, Economics and Business. He is the senior research fellow with the Immigration Policy Center and a frequent commentator on the long-term economic impact of immigration policy and reform. His work has included expert testimony in front of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Prior to joining Stanford Law School, Siciliano co-founded and served as executive director of the Immigration Outreach Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He has launched and led several successful businesses, including LawLogix Group—named three times to the Inc. 500/5000 list. Siciliano serves as a governance consultant and trainer to board directors of several Fortune 500 companies and is a member of the Academic Council of Corporate Board Member magazine.

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Woodrow Hartzog on ‘Juris Machina: Legal Aspects of Robotics’

On March 31, We Robot 2016 will host four workshops designed by experts to help people from other disciplines get up to speed in their specialty. We hope these workshops will be attended by people who want to learn about the topics, and by people willing to share their expertise with both experts and neophytes.

Woodrow Hartzog

Woodrow Hartzog

What is a tort? Can a robot commit one? What other laws might robots break? Which agencies in Washington’s alphabet soup like the FTC, FAA, NHTSA, and others matter for robotics and why? Is it better to lay out specific, intricate rules for robots, or should we just require that they “act reasonable?” This session will provide a foundation for asking and answering legal and policy research questions related robotics. It will cover basic legal concepts as applied to sophisticated computational technology. Not only will we cover the basic structures and laws relevant to robots, but we will review some basic principles behind why these laws exist, and what kinds of laws are useful in various contexts. The goal for this session will be to equip you with the tools necessary to ascertain the merits of robotics laws and propose alternatives for the stinkers.

Professor Woodrow Hartzog will join We Robot 2016 to hold a workshop on Juris Machina: Legal Aspects of Robotics on Thursday, March 31st at 9:30 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Prof. Hartzog is an internationally-recognized expert in the area of privacy, media, and robotics law. He has been quoted or referenced in numerous articles and broadcasts, including NPR, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. Prof. Hartzog’s work has been published in numerous scholarly publications such as the Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, and Michigan Law Review and popular national publications such as Wired, Bloomberg, New Scientist, The Atlantic, and The Nation. He is also a contributor to Forbesand a frequent guest contributor to LinkedIn, Concurring Opinions, and other popular blogs. Before joining the faculty at Cumberland School of Law, Prof. Hartzog worked as a trademark attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia, and as an associate attorney at Burr & Forman LLP in Birmingham, Alabama. He also served as a clerk for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., and was a Roy H. Park Fellow, at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prof. Hartzog is an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. He also serves on the advisory board of the Future of Privacy Forum.

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Kate Darling on ‘Electronic Love, Trust, & Abuse: Social Aspects of Robotics’

On March 31, We Robot 2016 will host four workshops designed by experts to help people from other disciplines get up to speed in their specialty. We hope these workshops will be attended by people who want to learn about the topics, and by people willing to share their expertise with both experts and neophytes.

Kate Darling

Kate Darling

What are research methods? How do you conduct a study? Are researchers biased? This session is your primer if you want to get into social science or you want to be able to make snarky comments about other people’s work. The field of human-robot interaction is rife with social science methods, because human behavior is usually way more interesting than robot behavior. Social science studies involve research methods and statistics. In this session, we’ll be covering the former, i.e. how to design and execute an investigation. There will be little to no math (sorry, math nerds), and many examples with robots.

Dr. Kate Darling will join We Robot 2016 to hold a workshop on Electronic Love, Trust, & Abuse: Social Aspects of Robotics on Thursday, March 31st at 11:15 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Darling is a Research Specialist at the MIT Media Lab and a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center. Her interest is in how technology intersects with society. Kate’s work has explored economic issues in intellectual property systems and increasingly looks at the near-term effects of robotic technology, with a particular interest in law, social, and ethical issues. She runs experiments, holds workshops, writes, and speaks about some of the more interesting developments in the world of human-robot interaction, and where we might find ourselves in the future.

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William D. Smart on ‘What do We Really Know About Robots and the Law?’

William D. Smart

William D. Smart

We Robot is a gloriously multi-disciplinary conference. Legal and policy scholars discuss current and future robots and robotics technologies, and offer sage advice about how to legislate them. Roboticists talk about current and future legal and policy structures, and hypothesize how these might interact with the underlying technology. Ideas flow back and forth, and we make concrete steps towards understanding how law, policy, and robotics interact, both today and in the years to come.

Or do we? How much do legal and policy scholars know about real robots, and the technology that goes into them? How well do roboticists understand the law and how it works? The frank answer to both of these questions is “not as much or as well as they should”.

This paper provides the results of a survey taken at We Robot 2013, designed to assess how well me know each others’ fields of expertise. We Robot participants were invited to answer a set of questions to determine how well they understood the basics of robotics technology and some of the legal issues surrounding it. Participants self-identified as either a roboticist, a legal scholar, a policy scholar, or “other” and gave some basic demographic information. The paper gives an analysis of the results of the survey, highlighting some interesting trends. Without giving the game away, none of us knows as much as we think we do, and there’s still a lot of work to be done to educate each other, and to really understand the basics of each other’s fields. This is, however, vital for the long-term success of both We Robot and the ideas on which it is founded.

In addition to presenting the results of the survey, the paper identifies some key areas where we can make progress in educating each other, and provide some concrete suggestions for how to do this. The ultimate goal of this paper is to scare everyone just a little bit, but then to provide a ray of hope for the future. If we know where our own shortcomings are, we can work to directly address them, and to make sure that, when we are caricaturing our colleagues’ areas of expertise, we are at least 80% right.

William D. Smart will present What do We Really Know About Robots and the Law? on Saturday, April 2nd at 4:30 PM with discussant Ian Kerr at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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Deadline for We Robot Poster Proposals Extended to March 11

Applications are now open for the first-ever We Robot poster session – and the deadline for proposals has been extended until March 11, 2016 due to planned maintenance and downtime of the submission site scheduled for, wouldn’t you guess it, March 8, the original deadline. A list of posters that have already been accepted is on our program — but there’s still room for some more.

We seek late-breaking and cutting edge projects. This session is ideal for researchers to get feedback on a work in progress and professionals, academics and graduate students are all encouraged to participate. At least one of the authors of each accepted poster should plan to be present at the poster during the entire poster session on the afternoon of April 1, 2016 and for a “lightning round” of one-minute presentations.

How to propose a poster session. Please send an up to 400 word description of what you have or are doing, with links to any relevant photos or audio visual information, as well as your C.V., via the conferencing system at https://cmt.research.microsoft.com/ROBOT2016/. Please be sure to choose the “Posters” track for your upload. Submissions are due by March 8, 2016. We’ll accept poster proposals on a rolling basis. Remember, at least one author of an accepted poster must register at the conference to submit the final version – but we’ll waive the conference fee for that person.

About the Conference. We Robot 2016 will be held in Coral Gables, Florida on April 1-2, 2016 at the University of Miami School of Law, with a special day of Workshops on March 31. We Robot is the premiere US conference on law and policy relating to Robotics. It began at the University of Miami School of Law in 2012, and has since been held at Stanford and University of Washington. Attendees include lawyers, engineers, philosophers, robot builders, ethicists, and regulators who are on the front lines of robot theory, design, or development. The We Robot 2016 conference web site is http://robots.law.miami.edu/2016.

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Helen Norton and Toni Massaro on ‘Siriously? Free Speech Rights for Artificial Intelligence’

Helen Norton

Helen Norton

Computers with communicative artificial intelligence (AI) are pushing First Amendment theory and doctrine in profound and novel ways. They are becoming increasingly self-directed and corporal in ways that may one day make it difficult to call the communication “ours” versus “theirs.” This, in turn, invites questions about whether the First Amendment ever will (or ever should) protect AI speech or speakers even absent a locatable and accountable human creator. The authors explain why current free speech theory and doctrine pose surprisingly few barriers to this counterintuitive result; their elasticity suggests that speaker human-ness no longer may be a logically essential part of the First Amendment calculus.

Toni Massaro

Toni Massaro

The authors also observe, however, that free speech theory and doctrine provide a basis for regulating, as well as protecting, the speech of nonhuman speakers to serve the interests of their human listeners should strong AI ever evolve to this point. Finally, we note that the futurist implications we describe are possible, but not inevitable. Moreover, contemplating these outcomes for AI speech may inspire rethinking of the free speech theory and doctrine that makes them plausible.

Helen Norton and Toni Massaro will present Siriously? Free Speech Rights for Artificial Intelligence on Saturday, April 2nd at 3:15 PM with discussant Margot E. Kaminski at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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Peter Asaro on ‘Will #BlackLivesMatter to RoboCop?’

Peter Asaro

Peter Asaro

This paper examines the possible future application of robotics to policing on the assumption that these will be systems that are controlled by programmed computers, rather than cyborgs. In particular, this paper examines the legal and moral requirements for the use of force by police, and whether robotic systems of the foreseeable future could meet these requirements, or whether those laws may need to be revised in light of robotic technologies, as some have argued.

Beyond this, the paper considers the racial dimensions of the use of force by police, and how such automation might impact the discriminatory nature of police violence. Many people believe that technologies are politically neutral, and might expect a future RoboCop to be similarly neutral, and consequently to lack racial prejudice and bias. In this way, RoboCop might be seen as a technological solution to racist policing. Many scholars have argued that technologies embody the values of the society that produces them, and often amplify the power disparities and biases of that society. In this way, RoboCop might be seen as an even more powerful, dangerous and unaccountable embodiment of racist policing.

The paper proceeds by examining the problems of racist policing from a number of diverse perspectives. These include examining the national and international legal standards for the use of force by police, as well as the guidelines issued by UN Human Rights Council, ICRC, and Amnesty International, and the legal implications of designing robotic systems to use violent and lethal force, remotely or autonomously.

From another perspective, the paper will consider the ways in which digital technologies are not racially neutral, but can actually embody forms of racism by design, both intentionally and unintentionally. This includes simple forms such as automatic faucets which fail to recognize dark skinned hands,the intentional tuning of color film stock to give greater dynamic range to white faces at the expense of black faces, and the numerous challenges of adapting facial recognition technologies to racially diverse faces. In other words, how might automated technologies that are intended to treat everyone equal, fail to do so? And further, how might automated technologies be expected to make special considerations for particularly vulnerable populations? The paper also considers the challenges of recognizing individuals in need of special consideration during police encounters, such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, people experiencing health emergencies, the mentally ill, and the physically handicapped including the deaf, blind and those utilizing wheelchairs, canes, prosthetics and other medical aides and devices.

The paper also considers the systemic nature of racism. The automation of policing might fail to address systemic racism, even if it could be successful in eliminating racial bias in individual police encounters. In particular, it considers the likely applications of data-driven policing. Given the efficiency aims of automation, it seems likely that automated patrols would be shaped by data from previous police calls and encounters. As is already the case with human policing, robotic police will likely be deployed more heavily in the communities of racial minorities, and the poor and disenfranchised where they will generate more interactions, more arrests, and thus provide data to further justify greater robotic police presence in those communities. That is, automated policing could easily reproduce the racist effects of existing practices and its explicit and implicit forms of racism.

Finally, the paper reflects on the need for greater community involvement in establishing police use-of-force standards, as well as the enforcement of those standards, and other norms governing policing. Moreover, as policing becomes increasingly automated, through both data-driven and robotic technologies, it is increasingly important to involve communities in the design and adoption of technologies used to keep the peace in those communities. Failing to do so will only further increase an adversarial stance between communities and their police force.

Peter Asaro will present Will #BlackLivesMatter to RoboCop? on Saturday, April 2nd at 3:15 PM with discussant Mary Anne Franks at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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