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Discussants and Moderators: Day One – April 1st

We Robot 2016 presentations feature Discussants and Moderators who are in integral part of the conference. Discussants are the lead speakers in their session and are responsible for presenting the main themes of the paper and offering their views. Moderators are the ringmasters of their panels.

Rebecca Crootof

Rebecca Crootof

Rebecca Crootof is the We Robot 2016 Discussant for Madeleine Elish’s paper Moral Crumple Zones: Cautionary Tales in Human Robot Interaction on Friday, April 1st at 8:45 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Rebecca Crootof is a Ph.D. in Law candidate at Yale Law School and a Resident Fellow with the Yale Information Society Project. She specializes in legal evolution and the interplay between law and new technology, with a focus on how regulation can channel technological developments to promote socially desirable aims. Crootof is currently teaching a course on regulating disruptive technology, and she has recently written on how customary international law may modify treaties, the implications of new weaponry for the U.S. war powers debate, institutional means of determining state responsibility for unlawful cyberattacks, and how autonomous weapon systems may foster the development of international tort law.

Ashkan Soltani

Ashkan Soltani

Ashkan Soltani is the We Robot 2016 Discussant for Matthew Reuben and William D. Smart’s paper Privacy in Human-Robot Interaction: Survey and Future Work on Friday, April 1st at 10:15 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Ashkan Soltani is an independent researcher and technologist specializing on issues relating to privacy, security, and behavioral economics. His work draws attention to privacy problems online, demystifies technology for the non-technically inclined, and provides data-driven insights to help inform policy. He’s previously served a brief stint as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and as the Chief Technologist for the Federal Trade Commission, advising the commission on its technology related policy as well as helping to create its new Office of Technology Research and Investigation. He also served at the FTC in 2010 as one of the first staff technologists in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, helping to lead investigations into major technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, HTC, and PulsePoint. Ashkan was also recognized as part of the 2014 Pulitzer winning team for his contributions to the Washington Post’s coverage of National Security issues. He was also the primary technical consultant on the Wall Street Journal’s investigative series: “What They Know”, which was a finalist for 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

Peter Asaro

Peter Asaro

Peter Asaro is the We Robot 2016 Discussant for Jason Millar and AJung Moon’s paper How to Engage the Public on the Ethics and Governance of Lethal Autonomous Weapons on Friday, April 1st at 11:45 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Peter Asaro is a philosopher of science, technology and media. His work examines artificial intelligence and robotics as a form of digital media, and the ways in which technology mediates social relations and shapes our experience of the world. His current research focuses on the social, cultural, political, legal and ethical dimensions of military robotics and UAV drones, from a perspective that combines media theory with science and technology studies. He has written widely-cited papers on lethal robotics from the perspective of just war theory and human rights. Dr. Asaro’s research also examines agency and autonomy, liability and punishment, and privacy and surveillance as it applies to consumer robots, industrial automation, smart buildings, and autonomous vehicles. His research has been published in international peer reviewed journals and edited volumes, and he is currently writing a book that interrogates the intersections between advanced robotics, and social and ethical issues. Dr. Asaro has held research positions at the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, the HUMlab of Umeå University in Sweden, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. He has also developed technologies in the areas of virtual reality, data visualization and sonification, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robot vision, and neuromorphic robotics at the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA), the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and Iguana Robotics, Inc., and was involved in the design of the natural language interface for the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine for Wolfram Research–this interface is also used by Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Bing to answer math queries, and won two 2010 SXSW Web Interactive Awards for Technical Achievement and Best of Show. He is completing an Oral History of Robotics project that is funded by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities. He has also just initiated a new three-year project on Regulating Autonomous Artificial Agents: A Systematic Approach to Developing AI & Robot Policy, funded by the Future of Life InstituteDr. Asaro received his PhD in the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also earned a Master of Arts from the Department of Philosophy, and a Master of Computer Science from the Department of Computer Science.

Daniel Sciliano

Daniel Sciliano

Dan Siciliano is the We Robot 2016 Moderator for the Hot Topics Panel on Autonomous Cars, comprising Harry Surden and Mary-Anne Williams’ paper Autonomous Vehicles, Predictability, and Law and Françoise Gilbert and Raffaele Zallone’s paper Connect Cars – Recent Legal Developments on Friday, April 1st at 3:00 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.

A. Michael Froomkin

A. Michael Froomkin

A. Michael Froomkin is the We Robot 2016 Discussant for Ryan Calo’s paper Robots In American Law on Friday, April 1st at 4:30 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. In addition to being the Chair of this year’s Program Committee, Michael is the Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Miami, specializing in Privacy Law and Administrative Law. He founded We Robot in 2012. Michael is also the founder-editor of the online law review Jotwell, The Journal of Things We Like (Lots). He serves on the Editorial Board of Information, Communication & Society and of I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society. He is on the Advisory Boards of several organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Michael Froomkin writes primarily about privacy, Internet governance, electronic democracy, and cryptography. He is one of the editors (with Ryan Calo and Ian Kerr) of the forthcoming “Robot Law” (Edward Elgar, 2016), a collection of papers primarily drawn from past editions of We Robot.

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We Robot Authors: Day One – April 1st

We Robot 2016 is rooted in contributions by academics, practitioners, and others in the form of scholarly papers or demonstrations of technology or other projects. These presentations explore the increasing sophistication and decision-making capabilities of robots, which disrupts existing legal regimes or requires rethinking of various policy issues. 

Madeleine Elish

Madeleine Elish

Madeleine Elish will join We Robot 2016 to present her paper Moral Crumple Zones: Cautionary Tales in Human Robot Interaction on Friday, April 1st at 8:45 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Madeleine Claire Elish is an anthropologist focusing on the evolving role of humans in large scale automated and autonomous systems. Her graduate study has focused on forms of physical work that are now being performed virtually, from controlling drones half-way around the world to telemedicine robotics. She currently a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Columbia University and previously earned an S.M. in Comparative Media Studies at MIT. Much of her work involves the intersection of the physical and digital worlds and the ways in which cultures change when the lines shift between the real and the virtual. Madeleine Elish is also a research analyst at Data & Society Research Institute, a New York-based think/do tank focused on social, cultural, and ethical issues arising from data-centric technological development. Madeleine Elish has also worked as a freelance researcher, conducting qualitative research for firms interested in developing new strategies based on social science and ethnographic insights.

Matthew Rueben

Matthew Rueben

Matthew Reuben and Bill Smart will join We Robot 2016 to present their paper Privacy in Human-Robot Interaction: Survey and Future Work on Friday, April 1st at 10:15 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Matt is a PhD student in the Personal Robotics group at Oregon State University. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2013 with the H.B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering. His current research centers around securing personal privacy protection for people using mobile robots. More information about Matthew Rueben may be found at his Oregon State University page.

 

William D. Smart

Bill Smart

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).

Jason Millar

Jason Millar

Jason Millar and AJung Moon will join We Robot 2016 to present their paper How to Engage the Public on the Ethics and Governance of Lethal Autonomous Weapons on Friday, April 1st at 11:45 AM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Jason Millar (BScE, BA, MA, PhD) researches the design ethics and governance of robotics and automation technologies. In addition to teaching philosophy at Carleton University (Ottawa), he is the Chief Ethics Analyst at the Open Roboethics Initiative (ORi) and is a member of the Organizing Committee of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics. He has a degree in engineering physics, and worked for several years designing telecommunications and aerospace electronics before turning his full-time attention to issues in applied ethics, philosophy and technology. Jason has authored book chapters, reports, and articles on robot ethics, design ethics, privacy, and science and technology policy. His work on design ethics and autonomous cars has been featured internationally in the media. He is co-author of chapters in the forthcoming books: Robot Law, edited by Ryan Calo, Ian Kerr, and Michael Froomkin; and The Oxford Handbook on the Law and Regulation of Technology, edited by Roger Brownsword, Eloise Scotford and Karen Yeung.

AJung Moon

AJung Moon

AJung Moon is a PhD candidate and a Vanier Scholar at the University of British Columbia. She studies human-robot interaction and roboethics / robot ethics under the supervision of Drs. Elizabeth Croft and Mike Van der Loos. Currently she is a visiting student at the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory (LASA) at EPFL. Her research interest is focused on studying the intersection of human-robot interaction (HRI) and roboethics. She specializes in designing nonverbal communication cues (hand gestures, gaze cues) for robots for human-robot collaboration contexts. Currently, she is developing ways for humans and robots to ‘negotiate’ a way out of conflicts using nonverbal gestures. She is a co-founder of the Open Roboethics initiative, an international roboethics think tank that investigates ways in which stakeholders of robotics technologies can work together to influence how robots should shape our future. Outside her office, AJung blogs on her Roboethics Info Database blog, serves as one of the ethics bloggers and a panel of experts for the Robohub.org, tweets @RoboEthics, and manages the facebook group on roboethics.

Harry Surden

Harry Surden

Harry Surden will join We Robot 2016 to present  his paper (co-authored with Mary-Anne Williams), Autonomous Vehicles, Predictability on Friday, April 1st at 3:00 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Harry Surden is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School. He joined the faculty in 2008. His scholarship centers upon intellectual property law with a substantive focus on patents and copyright, information privacy law, legal informatics and legal automation, and the application of computer technology within the legal system. Prior to joining CU, Professor Surden was a resident fellow at the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX) at Stanford Law School. In that capacity, Professor Surden conducted interdisciplinary research with collaborators from the Stanford School of Engineering exploring the application of computer technology towards improving the legal system. He was also a member of the Stanford Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse and the director of the Computer Science and Law Initiative. Professor Surden was law clerk to the Honorable Martin J. Jenkins of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. He received his law degree from Stanford Law School with honors and was the recipient of the Stanford Law Intellectual Property Writing Award. Prior to law school, Professor Surden worked as a software engineer for Cisco Systems and Bloomberg L.P. He received his undergraduate degree with honors from Cornell University. Professor Surden is an Affiliated Faculty Member at The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX).

Mary-Anne Williams

Mary-Anne Williams

Mary-Anne Williams is the co-author  of Autonomous Vehicles, Predictability.  She is the Director of the Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory (The Magic Lab) at UTS. Mary-Anne has a Masters of Laws and a PhD in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning with transdisciplinary strengths in AI, disruptive innovation, design thinking, data analytics, IP law and privacy law. Mary-Anne is a Faculty Fellow at Stanford University and a Guest Professor at the University of Science and Technology China where she gives intensive courses on disruptive innovation. Mary-Anne chaired the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia Committee that undertook a national evaluation of Mathematics, Information and Computing Sciences in 2012. Mary-Anne has a passion for design led innovation.  She works with her research team in the Magic Lab to bring science fiction to reality; the research goal is to design autonomous technologies that can learn to delight and adapt in novel situations as they collaborate with people to achieve shared goals.

Françoise Gilbert

Françoise Gilbert

Françoise Gilbert and Raffaele Zallone will join We Robot 2016 to present their paper Connect Cars – Recent Legal Developments on Friday, April 1st at 3:00 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Françoise Gilbert is a partner at Greenberg Traurig, and practices in the firm’s Silicon Valley office, located in East Palo Alto, California, where she advises public companies, emerging technology businesses and non-profit organizations, on the entire spectrum of domestic and international privacy and cyber security issues legal issues. Francoise has focused on information privacy and security for more than 25 years; she regularly deals with compliance challenges raised by cloud computing, connected objects, smart cities, big data, mobile applications, wearable devices, social media, and other cutting-edge developments. In 2015, she was named as a “Cybersecurity and Privacy Trailblazer”by  the National Law Journal.  In 2014, she was named “San Francisco Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for her work in information privacy and security.  She has been listed in Chambers USA and Chambers Global since 2008, Best Lawyers in America since 2007, and Who’s Who in Ecommerce and Internet Law since 1998 as one of the leady privacy and cybersecurity attorneys.  She is accredited as a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US, CIPP/E) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Raffaele Zallone

Raffaele Zallone

Raffaele Zallone is the founding partner of Studio Legale Zallone, a niche Italian law firm highly specialized in Hi-Tech Law, Data Privacy, IT contracts, e-Commerce, Internet Law and Regulation, and Biotech issues. Prior to founding Studio Legale Zallone, Raffaele was General Counsel for IBM in Italy. During his career at IBM he held several managerial and executive positions both in Italy and across the world. As a junior attorney he worked in the IBM GPD development lab in San Jose, California; later in his career he worked in IBM Europe as General Counsel for the Nordic region (all Scandinavian countries and Ireland). From 2002 to 2008 Mr. Zallone taught IT Law at the University Luigi Bocconi of Milano, one of the most prestigious institutions in Italy.

Ryan Calo

Ryan Calo

Ryan Calo will join We Robot 2016 to present his paper Robots In American Law on Friday, April 1st at 4:30 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Ryan Calo is an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law and an assistant professor (by courtesy) at the Information School. He is a faculty co-director (with Batya Friedman and Tadayoshi Kohno) of the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab, a unique, interdisciplinary research unit that spans the School of Law, Information School, and Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Professor Calo is a CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow for the class of 2015. Professor Calo’s research on law and emerging technology appears or is forthcoming in leading law reviews (California Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Stanford Law Review Online, University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online) and technical publications (MIT Press, IEEE, Science, Artificial Intelligence), and is frequently referenced by the mainstream media (NPR, New York Times, Wall Street Journal). Professor Calo has also testified before the full Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate and spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival and NPR’s Weekend in Washington. In 2014, he was named one of the most important people in robotics by Business Insider. Professor Calo is an affiliate scholar at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society (CIS), where he was a research fellow, and the Yale Law School Information Society Project (ISP). He serves on numerous advisory boards, including the University of California’s People and Robots Initiative, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Without My Consent, and the Future of Privacy Forum. Professor Calo worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Covington & Burling LLP and clerked for the Honorable R. Guy Cole on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Prior to law school at the University of Michigan, Professor Calo investigated allegations of police misconduct in New York City.

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‘Legal and Ethical Implications for Robots in our Life’

Oliver Guilhem & Pepper

Oliver Guilhem & Pepper

Olivier Guilhem of Aldebaran and SoftBank Robotics will demonstrate some state-of-the-art robots and explore legal considerations and guidelines that will need to be put in place as robots become more present in our daily world.

The star of the demonstration is Pepper, a humanoid companion robot that communicates in a natural, intuitive way. Pepper can recognize your face, recognize your emotions, and adapt his behavior to your mood as he speaks to you, hears you and moves around autonomously. He will respond to the mood of the moment, expressing himself through the color of his eyes, images on his display screen or through his voice tone. Over time, Pepper adapts to the user’s personality traits, preferences, tastes and habits. Users can personalize Pepper by downloading software applications for things like dancing, games, or different languages. All of these raise interesting legal and ethical issues.

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Olivier Guilhem of Aldebaran and SoftBank Robotics will present a demonstration on Legal and Ethical Implications for Robots in our Life on Friday, April 1st at 1:30 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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Time to Start Reading We Robot Papers!

All of the We Robot 2016 papers are now available for download from the Program Page — look for the colorful hyperlinks. If you’re coming, or if you are planning to follow along online, you will want to read as many of the papers as you can before the event. We Robot authors do not present their papers; instead we jump straight to the discussant, who summarizes the paper and then offers comments. The author(s) respond briefly, and then we turn it over to our amazing attendees for their questions and reactions. This makes for a much more substantive session, but it works better if you’ve read the paper in advance.

UPDATED: If you would prefer to download the papers all at once, here’s a zip file with all of the papers.
Second Update (3/28): There’s a new draft of the Asaro paper on the Program page, and in the zip file above.
Third Update (3/29): New draft of Gilbert-Zallone article.

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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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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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Ryan Calo on ‘Robots In American Law’

Ryan Calo

Ryan Calo

“Robots again.” Thus begins Judge Alex Kozinski’s 1997 dissent from the Ninth Circuit’s decision not to rehear the case of Wendt v. Host International en banc. “Robots” because Wendt involved an allegation by the actors who played Cliff and Norm on the television show Cheers that a bar violated their rights of publicity by creating animatronic versions of these characters. “Again” because, just four years earlier, the Ninth Circuit permitted another suit to go forward in which Vanna White sued Samsung over an advertisement featuring her robot replica.

Robotics feels new and exciting. Which it is: the field is seeing enormous advancement and investment in recent years. But robots have also been with us for decades. And like practically any other artifact, robots have been involved in legal disputes.

These disputes vary widely, as does the role of robots themselves. Often the involvement is incidental: perhaps a robot figures into a movie plot that results in a copyright claim or a contract dispute arises over robotic equipment.

Other times, however, the robot matters. It could be a dispute at maritime law over who first discovered a shipwreck; a question of whether a robot represents something “animate” for purposes of tariff schedules; or an issue of whether an all-robot band is “performing” for purposes of an entertainment tax on food and beverage service. In these real cases and others, courts have already begun to grapple with the arguably unique issues robots tend to raise in society.

This project canvasses over fifty years of state and federal case law involving robots or close analogs in an effort to predict how courts will react to the mainstreaming of robotics taking place today. The research adds clarity to academic and policy debates in at least three ways:

First, the project retroactively tests one or more theses regarding the challenges robots are likely to pose for law and legal institutions.

Second, the project tends to refute the view that the field of robotics law has no advanced inkling of how law will react to robots. Unlike cyberlaw in the 1990s, which had but little contact with the Internet, American society in 2015 already has decades of experience with robots in some sense.

Third, the project reveals a common mental model judges appear to possess around robots, which is that a robot is capable of acting only as exactly directed. If this view were ever true, it no longer is. Disabusing jurists of the idea that robots are incapable of spontaneity or other, human-like qualities is crucial to the development of satisfying a robotics law and policy.

Ryan Calo will present Robots In American Law on Friday, April 1st at 4:30 PM with discussant Michael Froomkin at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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Françoise Gilbert and Raffaele Zallone on ‘Connect Cars – Recent Legal Developments’

This paper looks at recent changes in the (1) regulatory; (2) privacy and data protection landscape and (3) liability areas. Examples of developments affecting the connected car / intelligent car market in 2015 include:

1 – Regulatory Issues

USA

Françoise Gilbert

Françoise Gilbert

California, District of Columbia, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada have laws that allow the use of the experimental vehicle for testing. They allow the use of vehicles for tests, and provided that an experienced driver is at the wheel. DC authorized the “autonomous cars”, but do not limit vehicle use only tests.

Europe
In January 2015, Germany announced that the A9 highway that connects Munich to Berlin would be equipped with technology that allows autonomouss car to communicate with other vehicles. Finland is preparing an amendment to its Road Traffic Act legislation to allow autonomous vehicles to be used in certain places and at certain times.

E-Call
In April 2015, the European Parliament adopted the “e-call” system for the automatic composition of mandatory emergency call numbers in all vehicles. Starting in Spring 2018, the e-Call system will be installed on vehicles to automatically alert emergency services about the serious road accidents. It will allow road safety services to immediately decide the type and size of emergency vehicles needed for the operation, allowing them to arrive faster, saving lives, reducing the intensity and impact of injuries and reduce the cost of traffic jams.

2 – Data Privacy and Security Issues

Raffaele Zallone

Raffaele Zallone

Personal Data?
To what extent are data collected from a vehicle “personal data”, i.e. attributable to a specific individual How to Comply with basic Privacy Principles? Assuming that some of the data collected from or through the intelligent vehicle qualify as “personal data,” numerous issues arise, such as:

  1. Notice: How to inform individuals of the nature of the collection, processing or dissemination of personal data?
  2. Consent: How can the driver and the passengers express their consent or objection to the collection of data produced by their vehicle?
  3. Choice: How can individuals control whether or when their personal data is collected or used?
  4. Access by third parties: When and in which circumstances may the personal data be shared with third parties or reused for purposes other than the original purpose?
  5. Security: How will the security of personal data be protected when in use, in storage or in transit?

What will be the effect of the adoption of the EU General Data Protection Regulation? Location information could pose a significant problem. It could reveal clues about intimate details about a person, such as a medical condition.

Security
Connected vehicles and intelligent vehicles rely on a vast ecosystem of specialized entities such as vendors, service providers, outsourcers, hosting companies, internet service providers that furnish the content, the data, and the connections, that are necessary for the vehicle to move safely, interact with the traffic, suggest or make decisions to and perform its primary functions. How to ensure data security?

3 – Liability Issues

In the US, the regime of liability for defective products (product liability law) is very complex. It involves concepts of contract law (contract law) and the law of torts and torts (tort law). Contract law is involved, for example, in the context of safeguards breaches. Tort law often uses the concept of “negligence”. The complainant must show that the defendant was negligent, for example, in the design or testing of the product. In some circumstances, US law uses the concept of “strict liability”, which can make the manufacturer responsible, even if he was not negligent.

The paper also examines recent cases of physical accidents with test vehicles (e.g. class action suits, etc.).

Françoise Gilbert and Raffaele Zallone will present Connect Cars – Recent Legal Developments on Friday, April 1st at 3:00 PM with discussant Dan Siciliano at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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Harry Surden and Mary-Anne Williams on ‘Autonomous Vehicles, Predictability, and Law’

Harry Surden

Harry Surden

Fully autonomous or “self-driving” automobiles are vehicles “which can drive themselves without human supervision or input.” Because of improvements in driving safety and efficiency, fully autonomous vehicles are likely to become an increasing presence in our physical environment in the 5–15 year time frame. An important point is that, for the first time, people will be moving throughout a physical environment shared not just with other people (e.g. pedestrians), machines controlled by other people (e.g. automobiles), or constrained automated machines (e.g. elevators), but also with computer-controlled, self-directed systems that have freedom of movement and the ability to direct their own activities. Free ranging, computer-directed autonomous movement is a novel phenomenon that is likely to challenge certain basic assumptions embedded in our existing legal structure.

Today, a great deal of physical harm that might otherwise occur is likely avoided through humanity’s collective ability to predict the movements of others in our nearby physical environment. In anticipating the behavior of others in this way, we employ, in part, what psychologists call a “theory of mind.” A “theory of mind” refers to our ability to extrapolate from our own internal mental states and project them onto others in order to estimate what others are thinking, feeling, or likely to do. The internal cognitive mechanisms involved in theory-of-mind assessment allow us to make instantaneous, unconscious judgments about the likely actions of those around us, and therefore, to keep ourselves safe.

Mary-Anne Williams

Mary-Anne Williams

Problematically, the movements of autonomous cars (and other autonomous moving systems like robots and drones) tend to be less predictable to ordinary people than the comparable movements of devices controlled by humans. The core theory-of-mind mechanisms that allow us to accurately model the minds of other people and interpret their communicative signals of attention and intention will be challenged in the context of non-human, autonomous moving entities such as self-driving cars. The argument is not that autonomous vehicles are less safe than human-driven cars, nor that autonomous vehicles are inherently unpredictable systems. To the contrary, most experts expect autonomous driving to be safer than human driving, and their behavior is quite predictable overall to the engineers who designed them. Rather, the argument is that we must focus upon making the movements of autonomous vehicles more predictable relative to the ordinary people—such as pedestrians—who will share their physical environment. To the extent that certain areas of law are concerned with avoiding harm (e.g. tort and regulatory law), this potential diminishment in predictability will bring new challenges that should be addressed.

Harry Surden will present Autonomous Vehicles, Predictability, and Law on Friday, April 1st at 3:00 PM with discussant Dan Siciliano at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

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