March 13 Osgoode conference to examine the impact of AI on all areas of the law

Stylized image of human brain symbolizing artificial intelligence

Please visit the conference webpage for a detailed program and registration.

It could be the biggest thing to hit the legal profession since the constitution.

Leading legal thinkers from Osgoode and beyond will gather to assess the seismic impact of artificial intelligence on the law during a special conference March 13 sponsored by the Osgoode-based Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security.

The event, titled Artificial Intelligence and the Law: New Challenges and Possibilities for Fundamental Human Rights and Security, will take place at the Helliwell Centre at Osgoode from noon until 6:15 p.m. on March 13. Stay tuned for details on registration and the full agenda.

“I am delighted that this incredibly important discussion is being hosted at Osgoode Hall Law School,” said Dean Trevor Farrow.

“Academics, lawyers, policymakers and the public are already heavily influenced by and reliant upon AI,” he added. “Osgoode very much sees itself at the centre of these discussions and innovations.”

By bringing together researchers with AI expertise across various fields of practice, conference speakers and attendees will also be able to engage with larger questions about law’s role in the regulation of emerging technologies, legal neutrality, ethics, and professional responsibility, said Associate Dean (Research and Institutional Relations) Carys Craig, who will speak on AI and copyright.

“I’m very excited about this conference,” she said. “Osgoode is known for its thought leadership and critical, interdisciplinary thinking, which is exactly what is needed as Canada grapples with the rapid acceleration of AI across almost every facet of society.”

The featured speakers will also include Professor Barnali Choudhury, director of the Nathanson Centre.

“Although AI offers numerous opportunities to society, it also poses risks, particularly in relation to human rights and security,” she noted. “Lawyers should be well versed in these risks to ensure that AI use aligns with legal standards.”

The conference’s comprehensive examination of artificial intelligence will include the growing use of generative AI, which powers tools like ChatGPT, said Professor Valerio De Stefano, a co-organizer of the event and a panellist who will address today’s challenging issues around artificial intelligence and work.

“The law will have to react to a lot of the challenges that arise from artificial intelligence in order for society to thrive on the opportunities that AI offers,” he noted.

De Stefano said that almost no area of the law will be left untouched, including criminal law, copyright law, labour law and tax law. Conference speakers will also dig into the implications of AI for legal ethics, legal practice and legal education.

“It’s extremely important that lawyers, both academics and practitioners, start discussing how to react to all these new things that are coming out of the AI landscape – and this is the opportunity to do that,” he added. “There’s a lot of people at Osgoode that do top-notch, groundbreaking research on law and technology.”

Other speakers will include Professor Jonathon Penney, who will examine whether AI safety standards are really safe, and Professor Allan Hutchinson, who will discuss “AI and law’s multiplicity.” Rounding out the list of Osgoode experts are Professor Sean Rehaag, PhD student Alexandra Scott and Osgoode PhD alumnus Jake Okechukwu Effoduh, now a law professor at Toronto Metropolitan University.

In the afternoon, De Stefano will chair a roundtable discussion on artificial intelligence, due process and legal ethics. Panellists will include Osgoode Dean Farrow, Professor Patricia McMahon, Professor Richard Haigh, Glenn Stuart, the executive director of professional regulation for the Law Society of Ontario, and Professor Amy Salyzyn of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.