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Archive for the ‘law’ category

Oct 11, 2019

For $150,000 you can now order your own Hoverbike

Posted by in categories: engineering, law, transportation

Circa 2018


After first spotting this crazy looking motorcycle-styled hoverbike in early 2017, we were skeptical the contraption would ever move beyond just an odd engineering curiosity. However, Russian company Hoversurf has just revealed its hoverbikes are now ready for production and preorders are open, with delivery scheduled for sometime in 2019.

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Oct 9, 2019

Ambassador Juan José Gómez Camacho — Mexico’s Ambassador to Canada — Migrant Health, Pandemics, and Aging — IdeaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, geopolitics, governance, government, health, law, policy, science, strategy, sustainability

Oct 2, 2019

We need robots to have morals. Could Shakespeare and Austen help?

Posted by in categories: employment, ethics, law, robotics/AI

John Mullan, professor of English literature at University College London, wrote an article on The Guardian titled “We need robots to have morals. Could Shakespeare and Austen help?”.

Using great literature to teach ethics to machines is a dangerous game. The classics are a moral minefield.

When he wrote the stories in I, Robot in the 1940s, Isaac Asimov imagined a world in which robots do all humanity’s tedious or unpleasant jobs for them, but where their powers have to be restrained. They are programmed to obey three laws. A robot may not injure another human being, even through inaction; a robot must obey a human being (except to contradict the previous law); a robot must protect itself (unless this contradicts either of the previous laws).

Sep 30, 2019

Researchers invent low-cost alternative to Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, cryptocurrencies, law, security

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is limited by its astronomical electricity consumption and outsized carbon footprint. A nearly zero-energy alternative sounds too good to be true, but as School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) Professor Rachid Guerraoui explains, it all comes down to our understanding of what makes transactions secure.

To explain why the system developed in his Distributed Computing Lab (DCL) represents a paradigm shift in how we think about cryptocurrencies—and about digital trust in general—Professor Rachid Guerraoui uses a legal metaphor: all players in this new system are “innocent until proven guilty.”

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Sep 12, 2019

Your Software Could Have More Rights Than You

Posted by in categories: information science, law, robotics/AI

Much like US corporations do now.


Debates about rights are frequently framed around the concept of legal personhood. Personhood is granted not just to human beings but also to some non-human entities, such as corporations or governments. Legal entities, aka legal persons, are granted certain privileges and responsibilities by the jurisdictions in which they are recognized, and many such rights are not available to non-person agents. Attempting to secure legal personhood is often seen as a potential pathway to get certain rights and protections for animals1, fetuses2, trees and rivers 3, and artificially intelligent (AI) agents4.

It is commonly believed that a new law or judicial ruling is necessary to grant personhood to a new type of entity. But recent legal literature 5–8 suggests that loopholes in the current law may permit legal personhood to be granted to AI/software without the need to change the law or persuade a court.

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Sep 2, 2019

Brain-reading tech is coming. The law is not ready to protect us

Posted by in categories: law, neuroscience

Human rights law isn’t ready to protect your brain’s privacy in the neurotechnology era, says Marcello Ienca.

Aug 30, 2019

The brain, the criminal and the courts

Posted by in categories: law, neuroscience

States of mind that the legal system cares about — memory, responsibility and mental maturity — have long been difficult to describe objectively, but neuroscientists are starting to detect patterns. Coming soon to a courtroom near you?

Aug 29, 2019

Johnny 5 — The First Robotic US Citizen

Posted by in categories: economics, education, law, robotics/AI

Should citizenship be restricted to humans?

Scene taken from the film Short Circuit 2 (1988).

FAIR USE NOTICE:

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Aug 26, 2019

Judge rules against Johnson & Johnson in landmark opioid case in Oklahoma

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter had claimed that J&J and its pharmaceutical subsidiary Janssen aggressively marketed to doctors and downplayed the risks of opioids as early as the 1990s. The state said J&J’s sales practices created an oversupply of the addictive painkillers and “a public nuisance” that upended lives and would cost the state $12.7 billion to $17.5 billion. The state was seeking more than $17 billion from the company.

J&J, which marketed the opioid painkillers Duragesic and Nucynta, has denied any wrongdoing. Lawyers for the company disputed the legal basis Oklahoma used to sue J&J, relying on a “public nuisance” claim. They said the state has previously limited the act to disputes involving property or public spaces.

Investors were expecting J&J to be fined between $500 million and $5 billion, according to Evercore ISI analyst Elizabeth Anderson.

Aug 26, 2019

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system

Posted by in categories: government, law, policy

In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law.

[Images: Rawf8/iStock; zhudifeng/iStock].

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