We Robot 2014: Risks and Opportunities – Call for Submissions

For those of you working at the intersection of law, policy, and technology of robotics, We Robot 2014 is the conference for you.  Now going into its third year, it is the premier meeting on the interdisciplinary issues across law, society, and technology.  The 2014 conference will be held in Coral Gables, Florida, on April 4-5, 2014.  But the deadline for three-page proposals to present at the conference is coming up very fast – November 4, 2013.  The 2014 theme is “risks and opportunities”:

This conference will build on existing scholarship that explores how the increasing sophistication and autonomous decision-making capabilities of robots and their widespread deployment everywhere from the home, to hospitals, to public spaces, and even to the battlefield disrupts existing legal regimes or requires rethinking of various policy issues.

Scholarly Papers

Topics of interest for the scholarly paper portion of the conference include but are not limited to:

  • Risks and opportunities of robot deployment in the workplace, the home, and other contexts where robots and humans work side-by-side.
  • Issues related to software-only systems such as automated trading agents.
  • Regulatory and licensing issues raised by robots in the home, the office, in public spaces (e.g. roads), and in specialized environments such as hospitals.
  • Design of legal rules that will strike the right balance between encouraging innovation and safety, particularly in the context of autonomous robots.
  • Issues of legal or moral responsibility, e.g. relating to autonomous robots or robots capable of exhibiting emergent behavior.
  • Usage of robots in public safety and military contexts.
  • Privacy issues relating to data collection by robots, either built for that purpose or incidental to other tasks.
  • Intellectual property challenges relating to robotics as a nascent industry, to works or inventions created by robots, or otherwise peculiar to robotics.
  • Issues arising from automation of professional tasks such as unauthorized practice of law or medicine.
  • How legal scholars should think about robots, and how roboticists should think about the legal code.

These are only some examples of relevant topics. We are very interested in papers on other topics driven by actual or probable robot deployments.  The purpose of this conference is to help set a research agenda relating to the deployment of robots in society, to inform policy-makers of the issues, and to help design legal rules that will maximize opportunities and minimize risks arising from the increased deployment of robots in society.

If you’re interested, go to the conference webpage, which gives instructions on how and where to submit a proposal. But hurry, deadline is approaching and places fill up fast!

(And thanks to the program organizers for their time and efforts to put this conference together, locate sponsors and obtain funding, and the zillion other tasks involved: A. Michael Froomkin, Chair; Ryan Calo; Ian Kerr; Bill Smart; Dan Siciliano; Holly Yanco; Leila Takayama.)


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