Microsoft panel explores the policy implications of intelligent systems

On May 16, Microsoft convened a panel of academic researchers working at the confluence of the technology, humanity and policy aspects of intelligent systems at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The intergenerational conversation brought together professors and their students to explore the implications of the deployment of new intelligent systems in businesses and society and the legal and policy challenges that they present.

From autonomous vehicles to rescue robots to home appliances, intelligent systems are becoming more commonplace in our society. These systems gather data from their environment and increasingly, without human interaction, automatically act on that information, enabling benefits such as faster responses in crisis situations, more efficient resource management and safer performance of difficult tasks. While the full impact and capabilities of intelligent systems are constantly being realized, it is essential to begin conversations between policymakers, ethicists and researchers to explore the legal and policy implications.

Throughout the event, four researchers highlighted the importance of these interdisciplinary conversations and provided short presentations on the work they are doing in the field. Researchers included: Meg Leta Ambrose, assistant professor, Communication, Culture and Technology, Georgetown University; Ryan Calo, assistant professor, University of Washington School of Law and faculty director, Technology Policy Lab, University of Washington; Margot Kaminski, research scholar in law, executive director of the Information Society Project and lecturer in law, Yale Law School; and Daniel Siciliano, professor of the practice of law and associate dean for executive education and special programs, Stanford Law School. Microsoft’s Elizabeth Grossman, director of civic projects in the Technology and Civic Engagement group, provided welcoming remarks and Microsoft’s Carolyn Nguyen, director in the Technology Policy Group, moderated the discussion.

After the event, we caught up with each of the researchers to further discuss the issues from the panel.

Meg Ambrose of Georgetown University explored the effects of the increasing use of robotics in all areas of society:

Ryan Calo of the University of Washington highlighted the importance of discussing the legal and policy implications of intelligent systems now:

The key takeaway from the event for Margot Kaminski of Yale Law School was the importance of interdisciplinary conversations among policymakers and researchers to discuss the issues:

Daniel Siciliano emphasized that our ability to understand intelligent systems will become critical in the next five to 10 years:

From the legal and policy aspects of intelligent systems to privacy and security, Technology | Academics | Policy (TAP) is a Microsoft-sponsored forum for academics leading the dialogue on the impact of technological innovation. Learn more about the academic research promoted by TAP by visiting:

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