University of Miami School of Law Set to Discuss Legal Status of Robots, Um, Okay

If you’re anything like myself, then you constantly wake up in the middle of the night with nosebleeds, screaming and mumbling about the eventual robot apocalypse. That said, I think we should all book our plane tickets now and head on down to Mr. Lucky’s Used Chevrolet the University of Miami School of Law for their upcoming conference to discuss the legal status of robots. I am not messing with you. Yes, I did say “robots”.

The conference, taking place in mid April, is currently accepting proposed topic discussions via email. They’re asking that a synopsis up to three pages long be sent to by January 12th, so if you’re still sitting on that term paper you wrote about the legal ramifications of that Mr. Machine toy marching like a Nazi, I suggest you finish that puppy up and send it on in.

Our pals over at io9 posted a list of sample topics for the roundtable, which we’ve included after the jump. You can either check that out -or be like me and just pop Terminator 2: Judgement Day back into your parent’s VHS deck and do some more pushups.

Effect of robotics on the workplace, e.g. small businesses, hospitals, and other contexts where robots and humans work side-by-side.

Regulatory and licensing issues raised by robots in the home, the office, in public spaces (e.g. roads), and in specialized environments such as hospitals.

Design of legal rules that will strike the right balance between encouraging innovation and safety, particularly in the context of autonomous robots.

Issues of legal or moral responsibility, e.g. relating to autonomous robots or robots capable of exhibiting emergent behavior.

Issues relating to robotic prosthetics (e.g. access equity issues, liability for actions activated by conscious or unconscious mental commands).

Relevant differences between virtual and physical robots.

Relevant differences between nanobots and larger robots.

Usage of robots in public safety and military contexts.

Privacy issues relating to data collection by robots, either built for that purpose or incidental to other tasks.

Intellectual property challenges relating to robotics as a nascent industry, to works or inventions created by robots, or otherwise peculiar to robotics.

Issues arising from automation of professional tasks such as unauthorized practice of law or medicine.

[University of Miami School of Law]