Legal Values: Artificial Intelligence

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This first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary, cross-listed seminar will bring together (through videoconference rooms at both locations) computer science students from the University of Waterloo and law students from Osgoode to explore cutting edge legal, ethical, policy, and technical challenges implicated by the rise of artificial intelligence, robotics, and big data, in applications as varied as criminal law, health care, autonomous vehicles, and lethal autonomous weapons. Students will: (i) learn about what is technically feasible today—and will likely be possible tomorrow; (ii) identify important challenges that individuals and society are likely to face as a result of emerging technologies; and most importantly, (iii) explore and grapple with how the legal system and public policy is responding—or should respond in the future—to the issues presented by artificial intelligence, automation, and big data. Students will be afforded substantial opportunities to develop and articulate their views (and address opposing views) both orally and in writing. Topics to be addressed will include: defining what AI and robots are, and what they can do or be expected to do in the foreseeable future; whether AI agents and robots have rights and if so, what those rights might be; relationships between AI agents or robots and their human counterparts; who is liable when “good AI/robots go bad”; military uses of AI; issues of algorithmic bias and transparency, particularly in the criminal law context; regulation of AI and robots, including privacy issues; and automation and technological unemployment as a result of the explosion of AI. Course materials will be drawn from scholarly work in both the scientific and legal domains, as well as from popular media, including videos and movies. Law students who take this course will be afforded the unique opportunity to develop and hone their technical, analytical, research, writing, and advocacy skills in conjunction with those who will be responsible for developing the next generation of AI technologies, in the hopes that both groups will become more sensitized to and thoughtful about the legal, ethical, and policy implications of these emerging technologies.