Jurists have been pondering the “death of contract” for decades. But I think that reports of its death are greatly exaggerated. That said, we are witnessing yet another blow to the classical conception of contracts —but, this time, not at the hands of an elite set of judges and academics. Various technologies are dramatically shaping the future of contract law and challenging the continued relevance and precision of its historical doctrine. In this post, I examine various shifts in contract doctrine and a result of a steady stream of innovations that include: e-commerce, self-executing contracts, and artificial intelligence. Can computers contract without us? Read more to find out. Read more →
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On August 15th 2015, I will be speaking at the 2015 CBA Legal Conference in Calgary on “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Law Firms” with Dera J. Nevin from Proskauer Rose LLP, Noah Waisberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Kira Systems, and lawyer and blogger Omar Ha-Redeye. Other speakers at the conference include Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.

My portion of the talk will focus on questions about the ethics of delegating legal tasks and legal decision-making to machines, proper and improper delegations and the relinquishment of human control that comes with automation.

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You can find more information on our panel here.

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“A ban on killer robots is the ethical choice”, Ottawa Citizen, July 31, 2015 C9

This opinion editorial, published by the Ottawa Citizen, describes the recent “Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers”, calling for a ban on offensive autonomous weapons and explains why I am a signatory. In addition to concerns about a global AI arms race, I argue that the decision to ban killer robots is the ethical choice because delegating life-or-death decisions to machines crosses a fundamental moral line. I further argue that playing Russian roulette with the lives of others can never be justified merely on the basis of efficacy. In the end, the decision whether to ban killer robots is not only a fundamental issue of human rights; it goes to the core of our humanity.


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Talk Radio on the Call to Ban Killer Robots

CHQR 770 AM, Calgary, July 29, 2015, 10:00-10:25am

In this 25 minute interview with Roger Kinkade and Rob Breakenridge of Newstalk770, CHQR Radio, I talk at length about autonomous weapons and the AI community’s call to ban “killer robots”. We talk about what a killer robot is, why they are likely to be developed, what the dangers are if we don’t ban them and a number of broader issues regarding the future of artificial intelligence.

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