Dr. Ian Kerr holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. He also holds cross-appointments to the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Philosophy.
Special thanks and much gratitude are owed to one of my favorite artists, Eric Joyner, for his permission to display a number of inspirational and thought–provoking works in the banner.
"Delegation, Relinquishment and Responsibility: The Prospect of Expert Robots" draft in progress.
The article was written in collaboration with my favorite philosopher-engineer-guitarist and all around renaissance dude, Jason Millar.Read more →
"The Strange Return of Gyges' Ring" in Lessons From The Identity Trail: Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)
Book II of Plato’s Republic tells the story of a Lydian shepherd who stumbles upon the ancient Ring of Gyges that has the power to make him invisible. In the story, the shepherd uses the ring to gain secret access to the castle where he kills the king and overthrows the kingdom. Plato uses this story to pose the classic philosophical question: why be moral if one can act with impunity?Read more →
"The Internet Of People? Reflections on the Future Regulation of Human-Implantable Radio Frequency Identification" in Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity: Lessons from the Identity Trail, eds. Ian Kerr, Valerie Steeves and Carole Lucock (Oxford University Press, in press 2009)
In 2004, twenty-five global law students and I listened to the proprietor of the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona pitch the idea of getting implanted with an RFID tag to allow easy access to the VIP lounge of the club and to act as an easy payment system for booze at the bar. Would my students seriously consider getting chipped?Read more →
Imagine a future where a robot could tend to you in old age. A humanoid machine equal parts caregiver and companion who’d live in your home, prepare your meals, and even help you out of bed. At night, your robot gently holds your hand as you drift asleep; changing the temperature of its appendage to match your own.
It might seem like science fiction, but the race to produce robots for the consumer market is very real. And there’s more than one tech company believing in domestic robotics as the next phase in computing technology.
But robot ethicist Ian Kerr is still sceptical of a society where machine works alongside man. “What are the ethical pitfalls? What are some of the legal things we should be thinking about as well? And maybe in some of those cases, we’ll reflect and say, you know what? That application might be powerful, but we ought not to go there.”
View the newscast and article, here.