CORAL GABLES, FL (March 1, 2016) - Would RoboCops eliminate racial bias or merely reflect the systemic nature of racism? Do human-robots systems inherently feature "moral crumple zones" where the human bears the brunt of liability when the robot fails? Is Siri protected by the First Amendment? These, and other timely topics, will be discussed, debated, and dissected at We Robot 2016.
We Robot 2016 is a conference at the intersection of the law, policy, and technology of robotics, to be held in Coral Gables, Florida on April 1 & 2, 2016. We Robot is now in its fifth year, returning to the University of Miami School of Law after being hosted by the University of Washington School of Law last April. The conference website is http://robots.
The book, Robot Law, by Miami Law's A. Michael Froomkin, the Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law and Program Chair for We Robot 2016, and Ryan Calo, the chair of We Robot 2015 and co-director of the UW Tech Policy Lab; and Dr. Ian Kerr, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology at the University of Ottawa, will launch at the conference on March 31. The book embodies the interdisciplinary ethos of the conference, featuring contributions from engineers, lawyers, roboticists, philosophers, and serving military, and covers topics ranging from sex robots to robot doctors to robots at war.
"We Robot has forged a community of researchers who are working to make the introduction of robots into every walk of life as painless as possible. This is no small task, since robots disrupt our assumptions about responsibility, liability, and even humanity," said Froomkin.
We Robot 2016 builds on existing scholarship that explores how the increasing sophistication and autonomous decision-making capabilities of robots and their widespread deployment in homes, hospitals, public spaces and battlefields requires rethinking existing legal and policy structures.
"Policymakers of all kinds are already writing rules for drones, driverless cars, and other robots," Calo said. "We have an obligation as a community of interdisciplinary scholars to provide guidance," he said. "And I have never been to a more fun conference in my life."
This year's edition of We Robot will feature a one-day series of preliminary workshops designed to help bridge gaps between different professions on March 31 at Miami Law, 1311 Miller Drive, on the Coral Gables campus.
"We're going to explain tort law to engineers, and teach lawyers and ethicists some basics about building robots," Froomkin said. Workshops will also cover the social aspects of robotics and the funding environment for robot startups.
The two-day We Robot 2016 conference will be held at the Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Drive, on the Coral Gables campus. The conference offers 12.0 General CLE credits, pending approval. The conference is open to the public. The cost for registration is $159.00 for general admission, for academics $99.00, and for students $35.00.
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