California’s latest autonomous vehicle regulations

Credit: Mike Keefe

The ABA’s Science & Technology Law section has an AI and Robotics committee that holds a monthly teleconference “meetup” where a guest speaker presents on an AI/Robotics-related legal issue.  From here forward, I’ll be making a brief post on each monthly meetup.

For the April meetup, Michele Kyrouz gave a presentation on California’s updated autonomous vehicle (AV) regulations.  I wrote a post last fall discussing the new rules governing AV advertising and marketing, and intended to do a longer post discussing the regulation changes as a whole.  This month’s meetup gave me the kick in the pants I needed to actually do that.

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WeRobot 2017: Fault, liability, and regulation

The last panel of WeRobot 2017 produced what were perhaps my two favorite papers presented at the conference: “An Education Theory of Fault for Autonomous Systems” by Bill Smart and Cindy Grimm of Oregon State University’s Robotics Program and Woodrow Hartzog of Stanford Law School, and “Nudging Robots: Innovative Solutions to Regulate Artificial Intelligence,” by Michael Guihot, Anne Matthew, and Nicolas Suzor of the Queensland University of Technology.

It’s not surprising that both of these papers made an impression on me because each dealt with topics near and dear to my nerdy heart.  “An Education Theory of Fault” addresses with the thorny issue of how to determine culpability and responsibility when an autonomous system causes harm, in light of the inherent difficulty in predicting how such systems will operate.  “Nudging Robots” deals with the equally challenging issue of how to design a regulatory system that can manage the risks associated with AI.  Not incidentally, those are perhaps the two issues to which I have devoted the most attention in my own writings (both blog and scholarly).  And these two papers represent some of the strongest analysis I have seen on those issues.

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Poll shows that support for national and international regulation of AI is broad, but is it deep?

Source: Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson, Oct 27, 1987

Yesterday, Morning Consult released perhaps the most wide-ranging public survey ever conducted on AI-related issues.  In the poll, 2200 Americans answered 39 poll questions about AI (plus a number of questions on other issues).

The headline result that Morning Consult is highlighting is that overwhelming majorities of respondents supported national regulation (71% support) and international regulation (67%) of AI.  Thirty-seven percent strongly support national regulation, compared to just 4% who strongly oppose it (for international, those numbers were 35% and 5%, respectively).

Perhaps even more strikingly, the proportion of respondents who support regulation was very consistent across political and socioeconomic lines.  A full 74% of Republicans, 73% of Democrats, and 65% of independents support national regulations, as do 69% of people making less than $50k/yr, 73% making $50k-$100k, and 65% of those who make more than $100k.  Education likewise matters little: 70% of people without a college degree support national regulation, along with 74% of college grads and 70% of respondents with post-graduate degrees.  Women (75%) were slightly more likely to support such regulations than men (67%).

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The Return of the Blog: WeRobot 2017

After a long layoff, Law and AI returns with some brief takes on the 6th annual WeRobot Conference, which was held this past weekend at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project.  If you want a true blow-by-blow account of the proceedings, check out Amanda Levendowski’s Twitter feed.  Consider the below a summary of things that piqued my interest, which will not necessarily be the same as the things that prove to be the most important technical or policy takeaways from the conference.

Luisa Scarcella and Michaela Georgina Lexer: The effects of artificial intelligence on labor markets – A critical analysis of solution models from a tax law and social security law perspective

(Paper, Presentation)

Ms. Scarcella and Ms. Lexer presented perhaps the most topically unique paper of the conference.  Their paper addresses the potential macroeconomic, social, and government-finance impacts of automation.

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