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  • - The Washington Post The all-new version of Foursquare, announced Wednesday, “learns what you like, leads you to places you’ll love,” and tracks your every movement even when the app is closed. “I am not surprised to see Foursquare move to passive collection of location information. It seems to be something of a trend,” said Ryan Calo, professor at University of Washington School of Law. “The concern for consumers is that Foursquare or its partners will use this information in a way that surprises and disadvantages consumers.” (8/7/14)
  • - Ars Technica Newly published documents show that the San Jose Police Department (SJPD), which publicly acknowledged Tuesday that it should have “done a better job of communicating” its drone acquisition, does not believe that it even needs federal authorization in order to fly a drone. The Federal Aviation Administration thinks otherwise. (8/6/14)
  • - The Verge Ryan Calo, a lawyer specializing in robotics at University of Washington, believes anthropomorphic bots will raise new privacy concerns. Because we treat them like semi-humans, it feels like they’re always watching us. "If our spaces become populated by these artificial agents, we’ll never feel like we have moments off-stage," he says. The way someone has chosen to program their companion bot, or the way they treat it, could also become a trove of extremely personal information, he says. (8/5/14)
  • - Dallas Morning News
    Scott Schumacher, a University of Washington law professor and a former federal prosecutor in tax court, said the government will have to prove that Price asked for or received the money “intending to be influenced.”
    His defense, Schumacher suggested, might be: “‘Look, we were friends and this is what we did. I wasn’t influenced at all by this.’”
    (7/25/14)
  • - Maritime Executive In 2013 the Chinese government merged four maritime safety, security and law enforcement agencies to form the China Coast Guard. Just one year later, neighboring South Korea moved to dismantle its 60-year-old Coast Guard. That two rising Asian maritime powers have so recently come to opposite conclusions regarding how best to organize their maritime safety and security forces is remarkable. It gives new meaning to strategy discussions as the U.S. Coast Guard’s new senior leadership team takes command and the service prepares to celebrate its 224th birthday on August 4th. (7/22/14)
  • - Business Insider
    Ryan Calo, assistant professor of law at the University of Washington with an eye on robot ethics and policy, does not see a machine uprising ever happening: “Based on what I read, and on conversations I have had with a wide variety of roboticists and computer scientists, I do not believe machines will surpass human intelligence — in the sense of achieving ‘strong’ or ‘general’ AI — in the foreseeable future. Even if processing power continues to advance,we would need an achievement in software on par with the work of Mozart to reproduce consciousness.”
     
    Calo adds, however, that we should watch for warnings leading up to a potential singularity moment. If we see robots become more multipurpose and contextually aware then they may then be “on their way to strong AI,” says Calo. That will be a tip that they’re advancing to the point of danger for humans.
    (7/18/14)
  • - Wired How the legal system would deal with child-like sex robots isn’t entirely clear, according to Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington. In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that simulated child pornography (in which young adults or computer generated characters play the parts of children) is protected by the First Amendment and can’t be criminalized. “I could see that extending to embodied [robotic] children, but I can also see courts and regulators getting really upset about that,” Calo said. (7/17/14)
  • - Forbes If an entrepreneur started up KidSexBots-R-Us, would it be legal? Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington, thinks it might be, based on the Supreme Court’s treatment of child pornography. “What appears to be child porn, but isn’t, is not illegal,” said Calo. Making or possessing child pornography results in severe legal penalties; those who watch child porn sometimes get longer sentences than people convicted of actually molesting children. However, in 2002, the Supreme Court drew a line between child porn and “virtual child porn” where the “child” is actually a young-looking adult or a computer-rendered image. It said images that are wholly faked, no matter how realistic they were, are legal. So the law might see sex with a “virtual child” the same way. At least in the U.S. (7/14/14)
  • - NBC News
    Ryan Calo, a drone expert and assistant professor of law the University of Washington, thinks the drones can be effective, but worries about how they might be used in the future after reports of them being rented out to agencies like the FBI and local sheriff's departments.
     
    "Once you have drones for this one purpose, you could start to use them more often domestically, and then they become part of an ever more militarized police force," he told NBC News. "That is a trend to be concerned about."
    (7/13/14)
  • - Forbes Ryan Calo, an academic at the University of Washington, was writing about corporate lab rats even before it became a hot topic of conversation. “It’s about information asymmetry,” he says. “A company has all this information about the consumer, the ability to design every aspect of the interaction and an economic incentive to extract as much value as possible. And that makes consumers nervous.” (7/10/14)
  • - Robotics Business Review
    It only lasted for two minutes and thirteen seconds (watch it for yourself below), but Ryan Calo’s “Big Idea” at this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado is here to stay for a long, long time.
     
    What Calo said wasn’t overly profound; such things are difficult to pull off in two minutes—unless you’re Abe Lincoln, Shakespeare, or a Biblical prophet.
     
     
    Rather, he was making the kind of common sense that makes audiences nod in surprise agreement and then turn to one another and nod again, which in itself is a kind of profound reaction for an idea from a law professor from Seattle. But, this was Ryan Calo, and he has a habit of getting audiences to react to his ideas in that way.
    (7/8/14)
  • - Business Insider Ryan Calo, assistant professor of law at the University of Washington (and one of Business Insider's most important people in robotics), believes that robotic technology is advancing so rapidly with such heavyweight implications that the current structure of the US government will be ill-equipped to handle it, reports The Atlantic. (7/7/14)
  • - Marketplace Tech First up, Ryan Calo, Associate Law Professor at the University of Washington and an affiliate scholar at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, talks about why companies like Facebook should be thinking about the ethics of information and consumer research. (7/7/14)
  • - Venture Beat
    University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo has recommended the creation of “Consumer Subject Review Boards”, which review the research of private companies. It’s akin to the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) already standard at every major university.
     
    I met Professor Calo last week at the Atlantic Aspen Ideas festival; he later wrote to me, “I think Facebook would have fared better under this regime because they would have had a set of established criteria as well as a record of when and why it was approved.
    (7/5/14)
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