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Faculty News and Scholarship

  • - U.S. News & World Report Study skills and long-term financial planning are on the agenda at many law schools' orientations.​ (9/2/14)
  • - The Seattle Times Attorneys will gather Wednesday to argue whether the state Supreme Court should find lawmakers in contempt for not making enough progress toward adequately funding Washington’s public schools. (9/2/14)
  • - Tech Times Though militarized drones strike terror into the hearts of those on the ground below, Google wants its autonomous aircraft to bring hope as the micro air vehicles deliver aid to those affected by disasters. (8/29/14)
  • - The Wall Street Journal
    "I don't know that Google is much better positioned than Amazon or anyone else in terms of technology, but the company has a track record of being influential in terms of policy," said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who studies robotics and privacy.
     
    Earlier this year, the FAA said it didn't contemplate autonomous drone delivery, effectively grounding Google's and Amazon's ambitions for now, Mr. Calo noted. However, he said having both Google and Amazon working to change the FAA's view increased their chances of success.
    (8/29/14)
  • - The Atlantic One area where Google will almost certainly have a major impact is in shaping the regulations that ultimately govern unmanned aircraft. “To a far greater degree than Amazon, Google has a history of working with policymakers and stakeholders on technology reform,” the University of Washington’s Ryan Calo, an expert on drone regulation, said. “Think net neutrality, fair use, privacy, and recently transportation. Adding Google’s voice could have a significant effect on regulatory policy toward drones.” (8/28/14)
  • - Smithsonian Previously, in the age of the studio photo, “you had to sit there and pose. You not only had to give your consent, you had to cooperate a lot,” notes Ryan Calo, an assistant professor of law at the University of Washington who specializes in privacy issues. With a hand-held camera, a picture could be taken of you unawares. (8/25/14)
  • - Oregon Live
    Now, voters in Washington state are confronted with a choice about whether or not requiring more background checks on additional kinds of gun sales would prevent similar tragedies.
     
    Two rival ballot initiatives pit one side of the political spectrum against the other in an irreconcilable clash of views. With gun debate heavyweights and big-name backers like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates entering the fray, the outcome could have national implications.
    (8/22/14)
  • - Venture Beat Google’s self-driving cars are designed to exceed the speed limit by up to 10 miles per hour because stubbornly obeying the law can be a danger to everyone on the road. The legal and philosophical consequences of this fact are fascinating. (8/19/14)
  • - 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)
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