Press

Co-Director Batya Friedman Discusses “Can We Build A Safer Internet?” in The New York Times

In a recent article the New York Times asked “Can We Build a Safer Internet?” They examined whether the harassment and hateful internet of today could one day change for the better and discussed the issue with Co-Director Batya Friedman:

“The question for designers of online communities, she said, is ‘how do we either create virtual norms that are comparable, or how do we represent those things so that people are getting those cues, so they modulate their behavior?'”

Read more here.

Co-Director Calo’s New Robotics Paper Receives National Coverage

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Lab Director Ryan Calo’s new paper, “The Case for a Federal Robotics Commission,” has received recognition from both the Washington Post and Slate. The paper is part of a series hosted by Brookings that attempts to anticipate and address the legal issues that will arise as civilian robots become more common.

EFF Thanks Franzi Roesner for Her Help With “Privacy Badger”

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This week the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a new browser add-on that prevents ads, social widgets, and hidden trackers. The Tech Policy Lab’s Franzi Roesner was thanked by the EFF “for exceptional work in enhancing Privacy Badger’s widget-handling algorithms.”

Read more here.

Moral Hazards and Legal Conundrums of Our Robot Filled-Future – Director Calo in Wired

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(photo credit Bruno Cordioli)

Lab Director Ryan Calo was recently on a robotics panel at UC Berkeley that has been featured on Wired.

“The robots are coming, and they’re getting smarter. They’re evolving from single-task devices like Roomba and its floor-mopping, pool-cleaning cousins into machines that can make their own decisions and autonomously navigate public spaces. Thanks to artificial intelligence, machines are getting better at understanding our speech and detecting and reflecting our emotions. In many ways, they’re becoming more like us.

Whether you find it exhilarating or terrifying (or both), progress in robotics and related fields like AI is raising new ethical quandaries and challenging legal codes that were created for a world in which a sharp line separates man from machine. Last week, roboticists, legal scholars, and other experts met at the University of California, Berkeley law school to talk through some of the social, moral, and legal hazards that are likely to arise as that line starts to blur.

At a panel discussion on July 11, the discussion ranged from whether police should be allowed to have drones that can taser suspected bad guys to whether life-like robots should have legal rights. One of the most provocative topics was robot intimacy. If, for example, pedophilia could be eradicated by assigning child-like robots to sex offenders, would it be ethical to do that? Is it even ethical to do the research to find out if it would work?”

Read more here.

Consumer Subject Review Boards: Co-Director Ryan Calo on NPR Marketplace

Following the news about a Facebook study on the effects of changing the positive or negative comments on a user’s News Feed, many articles have taken Facebook to task for experimenting on their users. Others have pointed out that this study is in line with using algorithms to tailor content, and suggest new processes for companies to handle such research.

Recently, Co-Director Ryan Calo was interviewed on NPR’s Market Place Tech about his 2013 suggestion for Consumer Subject Review Boards. You can listen to the discussion here.