We Robot - Call for Conference Submissions
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 12 December 2011

The University of Miami School of Law is inviting submissions for an inaugural conference on legal and policy issues relating to robotics.


The event, which will take place in Florida on April 21 & 22, 2012 is hoped:

to encourage conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate

and its participants are likely to include:

  • Roboticists, engineers, and computer scientists
  • Medical practitioners
  • Philosophers and ethicists
  • Regulators and others interested in public policy issues relating to robots
  • Lawyers, both academic and advisers to those who produce or use robots


The title of the conference, "We Robot" is presumably a reference to "I, Robot" the collection of Isaac Asimov's science fiction stories in which Asimov raised many of the potential ethical and  legal issues about robots at a time when robots were the stuff of his imagination. Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics were introduced in his 1942 short story Runaround, although they were foreshadowed in earlier stories  have such widespread dissemination that they are even assumed to be principles we have already adopted.

The motivation for this conference is that with robotics increasingly becoming a "transformative technology" there is a need to consider issues such the effect of robotics on the workplace, regulatory and licensing issues, issues of legal or moral responsibility and to set a research agenda relating to the deployment of robots in society.

When you think about the implications of the driverless car - which Nevada has already legalized on its public roads - and contemplate the reaction were a robot car to be involved in a fatal traffic accident, this inaugural conference has plenty of real world problems to discuss.

The organizers are looking for scholarly papers, for discussants to present and comment the papers and for work-in-progress presentations.

The deadline for proposals in January 12, 2012.

More Information:

We Robot 2012: Setting the Agenda, University of Miami, School of Law

Related articles:

Robot cars - provably uncrashable?



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Last Updated ( Monday, 12 December 2011 )