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Artificial Intelligence, Legal Change, and Separation of Powers

Michaels, Andrew C., Artificial Intelligence, Legal Change, and Separation of Powers (September 24, 2019). 88 University of Cincinnati Law Review _ (2020, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3459069
“A number of prominent contemporary legal scholars have recently argued in favor of replacing human legal decision-making with Artificial Intelligence, assuming that AI technology improves to a level they deem appropriate. I disagree, particularly as regards Article III judges, for four main reasons. First, human judges must strike a delicate balance between respect for precedent (the past), and adapting the law to unforeseen circumstances (the present/future), thus playing an important role in shaping the law that those arguing for robot judges do not adequately account for. Second, arguments for AI judges often seem inherently formalist in stating that robot judges would make fewer errors, overlooking the teachings of legal realism that not all cases have a clear right answer. Third, the loss of human judges would lead to a loss or diminishment of the human legal community, such that fewer people would be paying attention to the law, leaving the law more susceptible to being co-opted. Fourth, Article III judges play an important role as a check on the other two branches, a role which AI seems ill-equipped to replace and those arguing for AI judges do not account for. In short, proposals to automate the judiciary both under-appreciate and undervalue the human aspects of law, and the degree to which a human legal system contributes to the sense that we as a society govern ourselves. The potential benefits of an automated judiciary are better achieved in other ways, and do not justify the risks.”

The Law & Politics of Cyberattack Attribution

Eichensehr, Kristen, The Law & Politics of Cyberattack Attribution (September 15, 2019). UCLA Law Review, Vol. 67, (2020, Forthcoming); UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-36. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3453804 “Attribution of cyberattacks requires identifying those responsible for bad acts, prominently including states, and accurate attribution is a crucial predicate in contexts… Continue Reading

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

World Economic Forum – “Britain’s love affair with garden birds is reshaping its avian population. Several species have grown in number and overall diversity has increased, according to new research that explores the impact of the nation’s obsession with bird feeders. With at least half of all British households catering for the birds in their… Continue Reading

What Your Personal Information is Worth to Cybercriminals

Bleeping Computer -“Cybercriminals have multiple markets to get illicit goods and prices on these underground forums are likely driven by supply and demand, just like in the legal economy. Offerings found on deep and dark web (DDW) markets include anything that can be monetized in one way or another. Common goods cover any financial information that… Continue Reading

Google new delete history feature is almost useless for privacy, experts warn

Follow up to October 15, 2019 posting – Google introducing auto-delete controls for your Location History and activity data – please note: Reclaim the Net: “It’s no secret for anyone that Google benefits from collecting and selling user data – this is a major part of their business whether we like it or not.  Whenever… Continue Reading

Your smartphone takes amazing selfies. Those selfies could tell stalkers where you live.

Washingtonpost.com: “When it comes to sensitive information, the eyes have it. That became apparent last week, when a man allegedly stalked a Japanese pop star after determining her location based on reflections seen in her eyes in social media posts, according to the Associated Press. Those images helped the suspect find her train station. He… Continue Reading

The US military is trying to read minds

MIT Technology Review – A new DARPA research program is developing brain-computer interfaces that could control “swarms of drones, operating at the speed of thought”. What if it succeeds? – “In August, three graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University were crammed together in a small, windowless basement lab, using a jury-rigged 3D printer frame to zap… Continue Reading

AI: Algorithms and Justice

Berkman Kein Center – “Government institutions around the globe are beginning to explore decision automation in a variety of contexts, from determining eligibility for services; to evaluating where to deploy health inspectors and law enforcement personnel; to defining boundaries around voting districts. Use cases for technologies that incorporate AI or machine learning will expand as… Continue Reading

Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion

Commondreams.org: “Adding to the mountain of statistical evidence showing the severity of U.S. inequality, an analysis published Friday found that the top one percent of Americans gained $21 trillion in wealth since 1989 while the bottom 50 percent lost $900 billion. Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project, broke down the… Continue Reading

The Best Way to Search for Free Software Online

lifehacker:  “…you want to search for is “open-source” plus the general topic of whatever app or service you’re trying to find. This won’t always net you an app that costs you nothing, but you’re likely to have better luck. You can also search for “alternative to” a conventional app that does something you don’t want… Continue Reading