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Cornell Tech/Law Colloquium Kicks Off August 28

Following a successful inaugural launch last year, Cornell’s Tech/Law Colloquium returns this fall semester with a slate of 12 free public talks from leading scholars in the areas of digital technology, ethics, law, and policy. 

A collaboration between Cornell Computing and Information Science (CIS), the Cornell Law School and the newly formed Artificial Intelligence, Policy, and Practice initiative, the hybrid course and public lecture series addresses fundamental questions concerning artificial intelligence, the need for stronger policy to help govern it, and its implications when broadly applied to inform sensitive decisions. 

Specifically, this semester’s talks will explore areas like regulations in the trucking industry, “refractive surveillance” in retail stores, and how high-tech tools are used in the criminal justice system. Notable speakers this fall include Virginia Eubanks, whose book “Automating Inequality” was praised in the New York Times Sunday Review of Books, and Tarleton Gillespie, whose book “Custodians of the Internet” was featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

The Tech/Law Colloquium kicks off at Tuesday, August 28, at 7 pm with Kristian Lum, lead statistician at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG), discussing the impacts of biased data in predictive policing. All talks will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesdays in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182, on the Cornell campus unless otherwise noted. Video recordings will be available on both the Tech/Law Colloquium websiteand at infosci.cornell.edu.

“It’s crucial that technologists have some knowledge of the legal and ethical implications of what they build, and vice versa, that law and policy folks understand the capabilities of new technologies,” said Karen Levy, assistant professor in the Department of Information Science and lead instructor of the Tech/Law Colloquium. “AI is shaping people’s life outcomes in all kinds of contexts, from what we see online to how we treat society’s most vulnerable people. I’m really excited to bring this slate of scholars to Cornell to help us think through these challenges.”

The fall schedule is as follows:

7 p.m., Tuesday, August 28, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Kristian Lum (Human Rights Data Analysis Group) – “Bias In, Bias Out”

7 p.m., Tuesday, September 4, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Karen Levy (Cornell University) – “Refractive Surveillance: Monitoring Customers to Manage Workers”

7 p.m., Tuesday, September 11, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – David Robinson (Upturn / Cornell University) – “Danger Ahead: Risk Assessment and the Future of Bail Reform”

7 p.m., Tuesday, September 18, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Ari Waldman (New York Law School) – “Outsourcing Privacy”

7 p.m., Tuesday, September 25, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Helen Nissenbaum (Cornell Tech) – “Must Privacy Give Way to Use Regulation?”

7 p.m., Tuesday, October 2, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Anne Balay (Haverford College) – “Hammer Down: The Network of Regulations that Shape Trucking”

7 p.m., Tuesday, October 23, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Julia Powles (NYU / Cornell Tech), title TBA 

3:30 p.m., Friday, October 26, in Gates Hall, Room G01 – Virginia Eubanks (SUNY Albany) – “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor.” This talk is cosponsored by Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality.

7 p.m., Tuesday, October 30, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Sarah Lageson (Rutgers University-Newark School of Criminal Justice) – “’Digital Punishment Through Online Criminal Records”

7 p.m., Tuesday, November 6, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Andrew Selbst (Data & Society Research Institute) – “Fairness and Abstraction in Sociotechnical Systems”

7 p.m., Tuesday, November 13, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Tarleton Gillespie (Cornell University, Microsoft Research) – “Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media”

7 p.m., Tuesday, November 27, in Myron Taylor Hall, Room 182 – Natalie Ram (University of Baltimore School of Law) – “Rebuilding Privacy Practices After Carpenter”