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We are delighted to have Steve Omohundro, Ph.D. present at our Meetup this month. This is a Meetup of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Interest Group of the Santa Clara County Bar Association High Technology Law Section, and the Artificial Intelligence Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Science & Technology Law.

About our speaker:

Steve Omohundro has been a scientist, professor, author, software architect, and entrepreneur doing research that explores the interface between mind and matter. He has degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Physics from U.C. Berkeley. He was a computer science professor at the University of Illinois and cofounded the Center for Complex Systems Research. He published the book “Geometric Perturbation Theory in Physics”, designed the programming languages StarLisp and Sather, wrote the 3D graphics system for Mathematica, and built systems which learn to read lips, control robots, and induce grammars. He is president of both Possibility Research and Self-Aware Systems, a think tank working to ensure that intelligent technologies have a positive impact. His work on positive intelligent technologies was featured in James Barrat’s book “Our Final Invention” and has generated international interest. He serves on the advisory boards of the Cryptocurrency Research Group, the Institute for Blockchain Studies, Design Economics, Dfinity, Cognitalk, and is the chair of the Silicon Valley ACM Artificial Intelligence SIG.

See his TED talk here:

Intro to this month's topic:

Robot manufacturing, self-driving cars, 3-d printed houses, agricultural drones, etc. are poised to dramatically improve human life and eliminate drudgery. McKinsey predicts that AI and Robotics will create $50 trillion in value over the next 10 years. But these systems also create many new regulatory challenges. We will need new technological and legal governance strategies to receive the benefits without causing harm. When a self-driving car kills someone, who is liable? If I create a harmful robot, I am liable, but if I create an AI system which creates a harmful robot, am I still liable? Already humans are avoiding liability by using automated systems for price fixing, insider trading, discrimination, downloading illegal content, and making illegal drug purchases. Many robotic systems can easily be made anonymous but anonymous drones, self-driving cars, and online bots can be used for extortion, assassination, blackmail, theft, terror, etc. And intelligent systems can behave in unpredictable ways. Recent "deep learning" neural networks create models with huge blindspots. The behavior of advanced autonomous systems will be even less predictable by their creators. Rational systems with simplistic goals exhibit "rational drives" toward self-preservation, resource acquisition, replication, and self-improvement. What is the liability for creating harmful systems? We need to develop new technologies to reliably control these systems and a new regulatory regime to incentivize safe and beneficial behavior. We describe Ethereum's "Smart Contracts" as a possible technological component. But many additional new ideas are clearly needed.

Here is a link to the slides to be displayed during the talk (but goes away at the end of the talk):

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Slides: Right before the talk, a link to see any slides the speaker wants to present will be provided. (There may or may not be slides.) This link will expire at the end of the talk, but we will distribute a pdf of the slides by download afterwards.

Please RSVP and let us know by a comment if you are planning to attend in person.