New Rules for Robots?

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 09:00to10:00
On Zoom: https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/83978212806

For the second AI and Law Series talk of the university year, we welcome Professor Simon Chesterman (Dean, National University of Singapore Faculty of Law) to present a chapter of his forthcoming book, Regulating Artificial Intelligence: Algorithms, Robots, and the Limits of the Law.

Commentary will be provided by Mr. Jacob Turner, barrister at Fountain Court Chambers in London U.K., and author of Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence (Palgrave Macmillan 2019).

The conference will take place on Zoom: https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/83978212806


Recent years have seen a proliferation of guides, frameworks, and principles focused on AI. Yet, for all the time and effort that has gone into convening workshops and retreats to draft the various documents, curiously little has been applied to what they mean in practice or how they would be implemented. A different question might yield a more revealing answer, which is whether any of these principles are, in fact, necessary.

Rather than add to the proliferation of such principles, this talk shifts focus away from the question of what new rules are required for regulating AI. Instead, the three questions that it will attempt to answer are why regulation is necessary, when changes to regulatory structures (including rules) should be adopted, and how they might be implemented.

The hope is that this will reveal both the actual new rules that are required as well as a process for keeping them up to date.

About the Speaker

Professor Simon Chesterman is Dean of the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. He is also Editor of the Asian Journal of International Law. Educated in Melbourne, Beijing, Amsterdam, and Oxford, Professor Chesterman has taught at the Universities of Melbourne, Oxford, Southampton, Columbia, and Sciences Po. From 2006-2011, he was Global Professor and Director of the New York University School of Law Singapore Programme.

Prior to joining NYU, he was a Senior Associate at the International Peace Academy and Director of UN Relations at the International Crisis Group in New York. He has previously worked for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yugoslavia and interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Professor Chesterman is the author or editor of seventeen books, including Law and Practice of the United Nations (with Ian Johnstone and David M. Malone, OUP, 2016); One Nation Under Surveillance (OUP, 2011); You, The People (OUP, 2004); and Just War or Just Peace? (OUP, 2001). He is a recognized authority on international law, whose work has opened up new areas of research on conceptions of public authority – including the rules and institutions of global governance, state-building and post-conflict reconstruction, the changing role of intelligence agencies, and the emerging role of artificial intelligence and big data. He also writes on legal education and higher education more generally.

About the Commentator

Jacob Turner is a barrister and author of Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). He is also a contributing author to The Law of Artificial Intelligence (Sweet & Maxwell, 2020). He regularly advises governments, regulators and private organisations on the legal treatment of AI. Mr. Turner has previously worked for Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton in London and Hong Kong, and before that in the legal department of Israel’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, and as a speechwriter to its Ambassador. He is a former law clerk to Lord Mance in the UK Supreme Court and is the co-author with Lord Mance of Privy Council Practice (Oxford University Press, 2017).

His work has been featured in Quartz, The Spectator, The Economist, Wired and Al Jazeera Online. He has lectured on regulating AI at universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Shanghai Maritime, Singapore Management University and the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg. He has provided training to the judiciaries of the UAE and Singapore on the governance of AI, and given seminars to the Chinese Government and Military on AI and national security. More recently he advised the UN and INTERPOL on the use of AI in criminal justice. He has also given speeches on other topics at UNESCO in Paris, and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He holds law degrees from Oxford University and Harvard Law School.

AI and Law Series

The AI and Law Series is brought to you by the Montreal Cyberjustice Laboratory; the McGill Student Collective on Technology and Law; the Private Justice and the Rule of Law Research Group; and the Autonomy Through Cyberjustice Technologies Project.

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