The Defamation Machine

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 13:30to14:30

Zoom Registration: https://mcgill.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsd-6hqTMsGdUvpnw_oZyk_oI_M1Y8uatP 

Join us for an AI and the Law talk with Prof. James Grimmelmann, who will explore the question of software interpretation and revisit some of the classic thought experiments about artificial intelligence from a lawyerly point of view. 


Can ChatGPT commit defamation? A lawyer would say that defamation of a public figure requires a false statement of fact made with knowledge or reckless disregard of its falsity. But do these doctrines, which were created with humans in mind, even make sense when the "defendant" is a computer system? I will argue that answering these legal questions requires us to confront deep philosophical problems about the nature of language and thought. Along the way, I will revisit some of the classic thought experiments about artificial intelligence, like the Turing Test and the Chinese Room, from a lawyerly point of view. If corporations can be human enough to be held liable for defamation, why can't computers? 

About the speaker 

James Grimmelmann is the Tessler Family Professor of Digital and Information Law at Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School. He helps lawyers and technologists understand each other, applying ideas from computer science to problems in law and vice versa. 

AI and the Law Series 

The AI and the Law Series is hosted by the Montreal Cyberjustice Laboratory, and the Private Justice and the Rule of Law Research Group. We would like to thank our sponsors: the Autonomy Through Cyberjustice Technologies and AI Project, and the McGill Student Collective on Technology and Law. 

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