Law Disrupted, Law Re-Imagined, Law Re-Invented
SPEAKER: Roger Brownsword
Warsaw University, Lipowa 4 St.
This lecture―on the (technological) disruption of law, on the need to re-imagine law, and on the re-invention of law―is in three parts.
First, a fourfold disruption to law (and to the legal mind-set) is sketched. This disruption arises as emerging technologies impact on the content of legal rules, on the way in which lawyers assess the adequacy of the law, on the tools that might be applied for regulatory purposes, and on the regulatory mind-set. The direction of travel that is implicit in these disruptions involves the decentring of governance by rules and, concomitantly, the displacement of a mind-set that is focused on the coherence of the body of legal rules.
Secondly, unless we are to ignore these disruptions, lawyers need to re-imagine law. In order to do this, it is suggested that lawyers should frame their thinking by imagining that ‘law’ as traditionally conceived is part of a larger regulatory environment in which there are both normative and non-normative signals. Whereas the normative signals (of legal, moral, and religious codes) prescribe what we ought to do, the non-normative signals focus on the practical options that are available to us, dictating what we can and cannot do.
Thirdly, it isargued that, if power is to be regulated, both normative and non-normative instruments should be subjected to the discipline of the Rule of Law. The ideals of law need to be re-invented; they need to be applied to the re-imagined field of law; and they need to be sensitive to the full range of regulatory responsibilities, namely, protecting the essential conditions for human social existence, respecting the fundamental values (such as human rights, human dignity, and so on) that distinguish the community as the particular community that it is, and striking acceptable balances between the legitimate competing interests of citizens.
Roger Brownsword is a graduate of the London School of Economics. From 1968 until 2010, he held full-time academic positions, first, at the University of Sheffield and then at King’s College London. Currently, he holds part-time professorial positions at King’s College London and Bournemouth University, and he is Honorary Professor in Law at Sheffield University.
He has published 20 books and some 250 papers. His books include Understanding Contract Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 1987) and Key Issues in Contract (Butterworths, 1995) (both with John Adams), Human Dignity in Bioethics and Biolaw (Oxford University Press, 2001) (with Deryck Beyleveld), Contract Law: Themes for the Twenty-First Century (Oxford University Press, 2006), Consent in the Law (Hart, 2007) (with Deryck Beyleveld), Rights, Regulation and the Technological Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2008), Regulating Technologies (Hart, 2008) (co-edited with Karen Yeung), The Foundations of European Private Law (Hart, 2011) (co-edited with Hans-W. Micklitz, Leone Niglia, and Stephen Weatherill), Law and the Technologies of the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2012) (with Morag Goodwin), the Cambridge Handbook of Human Dignity (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (co-edited with Marcus Duwell, Jens Braavig, and Dietmar Mieth), the Oxford Handbook of Law, Regulation and Technology (Oxford University Press, 2017) (co-edited with Eloise Scotford and Karen Yeung), Contract and Regulation: A Handbook on New Methods of Law Making in Private Law (Elgar, 2017) (co-edited with Rob van Gestel and Hans-W. Micklitz); and his forthcoming book, Law, Technology and Society: Re-Imagining the Regulatory Environment (Routledge).
He is the founding general editor (with Han Somsen) of Law, Innovation and Technology; and he is a member of the editorial board of the Modern Law Review, the International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Ethical Perspectives (The Netherlands), and the Journal of Law and the Biosciences (USA).
Outside the university, he was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics from 2004–2010; and he was Chair of the Ethics and Governance Council for UK Biobank from 2011–2015. He has served as a specialist adviser to parliamentary committees (on stem cells and on hybrid embryos); and, he served on the Royal Society Brain Waves' Working Party on neuroscience and the law and, most recently, the Royal Society’s Working Party on machine learning.
News from SIENNA
State-of-the-art review of human enhancement
The SIENNA team working on the ethical, legal and human rights issues of human enhancement technologies finished their state-of-the-art review of the field. The report offers overviews of the philosophical debate around the issue, of the existing and expected applications, and a socio-economic impact assessment of human enhancement technologies. SIENNA researchers also identified six subcategories of enhancement, all of which you can read about in the state-of-the-art report that is now available for download on the SIENNA website!
A new era for DNA testing requires new regulation
The European regulatory landscape is a patchwork, where policymakers and scientists work to harmonize regulations at different levels: international, the EU and in the member states. A recent article published in Politico writes that online commercial DNA testing companies have the upper hand in the EU. Partly because the fragmented regulation is difficult to enforce.
US White House issues set of binding AI principles for agency regulators
The US White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued what they call a "first of its kind" set of principles that federal agencies have to meet when they draft AI regulations. The public will now have 60 days to comment.
SIENNA: plans for 2020
The SIENNA project wishes you happy holidays! In 2020, we will us the data we have collected so far to develop ethical frameworks for Human Genomics, Human Enhancement, AI and Robotics. Our work will also be translated to guidelines for researchers and innovators in industry and academia, protocols and operational guidelines for research ethics committees, recommendations for better legislation, and more!
Greek law on Human Enhancement
Like in many other countries, there are no specific laws relating to human enhancement technologies in Greece. However, there is more general legislation that can be applied to human enhancement. Because of this lack of legislation, the Greek Commission on Bioethics has issued two separate Opinions on Human Enhancement. In a pre-print article in SSRN, SIENNA legal scholar Maria Canellopoulou-Bottis from the Ionian University in Greece presents the Greek law on human enhancement.
Presenting our work for the European Commission!
Today, work package and task leaders from the SIENNA project are in Brussels to present our work to the H2020 project officer and an expert external reviewer. We are looking forward to this opportunity to review what we have done so far, and receiving feedback to improve what we do in the future.
SIENNA, PANELFIT and SHERPA: New video on three H2020 projects working together
New technology benefits individuals & society. It also challenges our notions of what is ethical. Three H2020 projects have joined forces to improve ethical, human rights & legal frameworks: SHERPA, PANELFIT and SIENNA. We just launched a new video to show how we explore the ethical, legal and human rights questions that information & communication technologies, big data, artificial intelligence and smart information systems raises, for example in relation to data commercialization, cybersecurity and consent.
SIENNA and SHERPA training on ethics and artificial intelligence for European Commission
On November 26, the SIENNA and SHERPA projects are invited to organize an interactive workshop for the European Unions’ different research funding schemes. The workshop is called “Ethics and Artificial Intelligence: Foreseeing the Impact and Shaping the Future” and will present findings from both projects. The focus is on the different ethical dimensions and impact of AI on the future of our society, legal- and ethical frameworks.
Into AI & robotics? SIENNA newsletter out today!
SIENNA has published a state-of-the art review on artificial intelligence and robotics. If you want to read about it, download it, and find out what else we have done in the last six months and haven't received the e-mail, you are not on our list. So go ahead and sign up to find out what we do! (or read it by clicking the link below).
State-of-the-art review of AI and robotics complete!
The SIENNA team working on ethical, legal and human rights issues of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have conducted a state-of-the-art review of the fields of AI and robotics. The report is now available for download! It offers a thorough analysis of the central concepts, the history, the present and expected technologies and applications of AI and robotics, as well as a socio-economic impact assessment of current and expected technologies used in both fields. The analysis is based on a thorough literature review. We also did interviews with, and received commentaries from, field experts.
Egg donation for gene editing in embryos expose women to health risks
Current gene editing approaches allow for precise modification of DNA. These could potentially be used to correct disease-causing genes in human embryos.To evaluate the safety and efficacy of this approach, a large number of studies would be needed. To create embryos for this purpose, women have to donate eggs. In a recent Nature correspondence, two researchers from Uppsala University, Emilia Niemiec and Heidi Howard, draw attention to the health risks associated with egg donation in this context.
Should political ads be banned on social media?
Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsay announced that Twitter is banning political advertising on their platform. In the announcement, Dorsey writes that our democratic system might not be ready for machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. Al Jazeera reached out to SIENNA coordinator Philip Brey to get his view on the subject.
AI and robotics from a Spanish point of view
Developments in artificial intelligence and robotics are changing societies and affecting human rights. These technologies are expected to be the greatest money makers of the 21st century. Spain cannot turn its back on the expected financial and societal gains from AI and robotics development. So writes SIENNA's Javier Valls Prieto in a Spanish language blog post in The Conversation.
SIENNA at ENERI final conference
The ENERI project is coming to an end. On October 28-29, they will bring together leading ethics experts, researchers, policy makers, representatives from industry, research funding organisations, civil society and other stakeholders to disseminate the concepts and products developed during the three-years term of the project. SIENNA will be represented in a panel with other SwafS RE and RI projects.
Planning for the future!
Planning for the future and moving the project forward. 24-25 September, we met in Paris to discuss SIENNA impact and sustainability... Have a look below to learn what we talked about!
From data collection and analysis to frameworks and codes
Right now, members of the SIENNA consortium are meeting in Paris to decide how we move from collecting and analysing data to developing ethical frameworks and codes. We will also discuss how to ensure that we deliver outputs that stakeholders in human genomics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence and robotics both want and are able to use.
#HumanAI: New UNESCO video about the ethics of AI
Following #HumanAI? Take the opportunity to find out more about the work beind the hastag! UNESCO is celebrating 25 years of ethical reflection on bioethics and the ethics of science and Technology and have recenly released a new video about the ethics of AI: “Do You Know AI? Or AI Knows you Better? – Thinking Ethics of AI”.
What happens with technical progress if we get AI ethics wrong?
Right now, many governments and regulators struggle to keep up with how new technologies like artificial intelligence is developing. In the latest issue of the EU Research and Innovation Magazine Horizon, Professor Philip Brey, coordinator of the SIENNA project, and Berdnt Stahl, coordinator of the SHERPA project, share their thoughts on how geting AI ethics wrong could ‘annihilate technical progress’.
Setting future ethical standards for ICT, Big Data, AI and robotics
Policymakers struggle to assess the ethical, legal and human rights impacts of IT systems in research, industry, and at home. At the same time, research needs to be useful for industry, academia, and society to have impact on policy. The PANELFIT, SHERPA and SIENNA projects just published an editorial in Orbit to explain how we collaborate and work together with stakeholders to improve ethical, human rights and legal frameworks for information and communication technologies (ICT), big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.
Now on YouTube: SIENNA, SHERPA & PANELFIT collaboration
The SIENNA, SHERPA and PANELFIT webinar on May 20 2019 marked the start of an active European collaboration in the ethics, law and human rights of emerging digital technologies. Now you can watch it on YouTube! Learn about the projects' work on artificial intelligence (AI), big data, smart information systems (SIS), and information and communication technology (ICT) in general.
Call for papers on Ethics by Design: Deadline extended to July 1
The SIENNA and SHERPA projects are issuing a call for papers for a track on ethics by design at the 4TU Ethics Biannual Conference entitled "The Ethics of Disruptive Technologies" at TU/Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on November 7-8, 2019. Deadline for submission has been extended until July 1!
Neuroenhancement of children and adolescents raises ethical questions
How much should we be allowed to shape your children? And what are the ethical an social questions that arise from enhancing young people? Lately, discussions on “neuroenhancement” have become relevant, both in academia, medical practice and among the public. A recent book edited by Saskia Nagel offers a unique collection of articles on pediatric neuroenhancement.
The underdog in the AI ethical and legal debate: human autonomy
Advances in AI will have serious and lasting consequences for human autonomy. But does the increasing autonomy of machines necessarily imply a decreasing human autonomy? This week, SIENNA researchers Rowena Rodrigues and Anaïs Rességuier from Trilateral Research write about the underdog of the AI ethical and legal debate on the Human Brain Project's Ethics Dialogues blog.
Want to know more about the ELSI of Human Enhancement? Connect to find out what we do!
Education and exercise can enhance our abilities. So can technology: in the form of implants, drugs, genetic enhancement or machines. This comes with ethical, legal and social challenges. As a society, we need to discuss the ethical questions of what is normal, what is natural, what is moral and what can be permitted.
Call for papers: Ethics by Design
The SIENNA and SHERPA projects are issuing a call for papers for a track on ethics by design at the 4TU Ethics Biannual Conference entitled "The Ethics of Disruptive Technologies" at TU/Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on November 7-8, 2019. Deadline for submission extended until July 1.
Interested in the ELSI of Human Genomics? Connect to find out what we do!
New and improved technologies for genetic and genomic research are slowly making their way from research to patients and consumers. This raises ethical, legal and social questions for both individuals and society. Today, the SIENNA project sent our first update to stakeholders in Human Genomics. Not on our list? Sign up to find out what we do!
Human Enhancement: legal analysis complete!
SIENNA partners have completed their research on legal developments and human rights challenges related to human enhancement technologies. We have covered the legal developments on the international level and in the EU, and completed 12 country studies of the national level, looking at the relevant laws and human rights standards.
The right to science and human germline editing
In a recently published article titled “The right to science and human germline editing. Sweden, its external commitments and the ambiguous national responses under the Genetic Integrity Act”, Santa Slokenberga and Heidi Carmen Howard argue this right to science should also include protection against scientific advancements with destructive implications for humans, their rights and humanity.
Don't forget to register for the SIENNA-SHERPA-PANELFIT webinar on May 20!
On Monday 20 May, 2019, three Horizon 2020 projects working with the ethical, legal and human rights aspects of different IT-technologies present in a joint webinar. Find out how we will contirbute to responsible AI, big data and data sharing.
Into AI & robotics? Connect to find out what we do!
More and more people are interacting with robots, smart devices, intelligent software, prosthetics and implants. They are used in industry, the education system, health care, our homes, the entertainment industry and military applications. The potential benefits are abundant. However, there are considerable ethical and legal challenges. Today, the SIENNA project sent our first update to stakeholders in AI and robotics. Not on our list? Sign up to find out what we do!
Legal analysis of genetics and genomics complete!
The SIENNA project completed our research on the legal developments, issues and human rights challenges for human genetics and genomics. We have covered the legal developments in different international legal orders (UN, ASEAN, AU, CoE and OAS) and in the EU, and completed studies in 12 countries, where we have looked at relevant laws and human rights standards on the national level.
Public opinion surveys and panels complete!
Besides input from experts, the SIENNA project is committed to include public opinion in our work. The results will inform the ethical evaluation and the development of ethics protocols and codes. On 27 April 2019, we ended our data collection. In all, we have completed telephone surveys with over 11,000 people in 11 countries and citizen panels in 5 countries. Now, the work to analyse the data begins.
Law, AI and robotics: Legal analysis complete!
SIENNA partners have completed their research on legal developments, issues and human rights challenges related to artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. We have covered the legal developments on the international level and in the EU, and completed 12 country studies of the national level, looking at the relevant laws and human rights standards.
Free on May 20? Find out more about SIENNA, SHERPA and PANELFIT!
On May 20, 10 AM CET, the SIENNA, PANELFIT and SHERPA projects will explain what we do, where the overlaps are, and how we intend to work together to improve ethical, human rights and legal frameworks for artificial intelligence, big data, smart information systems, and ICT in general.
Stakeholder and expert input to SIENNA's ethical analysis
Today and tomorrow, SIENNA consortium members meet experts and stakeholders in Athens to discuss the project's approach to ethical analysis. Participants will discuss methods and approaches to integrate stakeholder perspectives and public opinion in ethical assessments of new technologies.
Harnessing existing human rights jurisprudence to guide AI
You don’t have to look too hard to become acutely aware of the potential dangerous effects of the development and use of algorithms and AI. It is already common knowledge that in the wrong or reckless hands these technologies may sway elections, lead to discrimination, and inhibit freedom of speech or access to information. It is then trite to say that algorithms and AI can pose serious challenges to individuals and the protection of their human rights.
Applications, benefits and concerns of human enhancement
Human enhancement is no longer science fiction. Developments in biomedicine and neuroscience demands practical discussion about its ethical, legal, and social implications. SIENNA uses a structured approach to examine the challenges to society. Check out our new infographic to find out more about the applications, benefits and concerns related to human enhancement technologies!
Applications, benefits and concerns of human genomics
Today, DNA can be “read” much faster and cheaper than just a decade ago. Genetic testing can reveal information about the health of adults, children, and foetuses. At the same time, another new technology for gene editing has become available: CRISPR/Cas9, that allows for modification of DNA in humans. Check out our new infographic to find out more about the applications, benefits and concerns related to human genetics and genomics!
Human genomics: New project video!
Genome' is a word for all our DNA. DNA information can tell us about our health. It can help us diagnose a disease, help prevent future ones, and tell us about the health of our relatives. Scientists study our DNA, and have tools that can modify it. Want to know more? Check out our new video clip!
Recap of Human Genomics foresight workshop
On 18 January, the SIENNA project arranged a foresight workshop on human genetics and genomics. Stakeholders and experts spent the day discussing the future ethical and impacts. A short report is coming, but for anyone interested, a recap of the event is available on Twitter.
Recap of Human Enhancement foresight workshop
On 16-17 January, the SIENNA project arranged a foresight workshop on human enhancement. Stakeholders and experts spent one and a half days discussing the future ethical and impacts. A short report is coming, but for anyone interested, a recap of the event is available on Twitter.
Call for papers: Ethics and Human Rights in Smart Information Systems
Interested in the ethics and human rights issues in smart information systems? Join the SHERPA, SIENNA. PANELFIT, ORBIT projects and others in the IEEE Smart World Conference forum thisyear! Call for papers closing 26 April 2019.
Recap of AI & Robotics foresight workshop
On 15-16 January, the SIENNA project arranged a foresight workshop on artificial intelligence and robotics. Stakeholders and experts spent one and a half days discussing the future ethical and impacts. A short report is coming, but for anyone interested, a recap of the event is available on Twitter.
Tell us what you think are the important future technologies in human genomics!
We want to know what you think are the most important upcoming technological developments in the field of human genetics and genomics? The technologies can be in any stage of development: as ideas, under development or in an initial stage of implementation. Answer our survey by Thursday 17 January!
Season's greetings from SIENNA
Happy holidays from the SIENNA consortium partners in the Netherlands, China, Germany, Brazil, Poland, Greece, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Sweden, and our associate partners in Japan and the US.
Stakeholder input to SIENNA: Foresight
In January 2019, SIENNA is organising three foresight workshops to discuss risks, impacts and ethical issues of AI and robotics, human enhancement and genomics with invited stakeholders.
Embedded EthiCS postdoc opportunity at Harvard University
Want to help bring ethical reasoning into the computer science curriculum? Don't miss the embedded EthiCS postdoc opportunity at Harvard University! Apply by January 15.
Looking for AI expertise!
Are you an expert in artificial intelligence? The SIENNA project is looking for AI experts to interview for our foresight work. What do you believe is on the horizon?
AI & Robotics: New project video
We interact with machines, robots, smart devices, intelligent software, prosthetics & implants. Robots can perform human tasks on their own, and smart devices can operate autonomously. Or connect & work together. Watch our new YouTube video to find out how SIENNA will approach these issues!
Collecting stakeholder input on legal aspects of Genomics, Human Enhancement, AI & Robotics
On November 8-9, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights is hosting the second SIENNA stakeholder workshop. This time covering the legal aspects of genomics, human enhancement, AI & Robotics.