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October 31, 2014

Posts in "Ideas"

October 17, 2014

Friday Q&A: Law Professor Ryan Calo, Part One

CaloRyan1 Friday Q&A: Law Professor Ryan Calo, Part One

Calo (Photo Credit: UW School of Law)

Ryan Calo is an assistant law professor at the University of Washington School of Law whose academic work looks at the legal and policy aspects of robotics. Technocrat talked to him about what he anticipates the future of robotics will look like, legal issues he thinks will arise in the coming years, and more.

Q: I know you say you’re a legal professor and not an engineer, but what are your assumptions of how you see robotics impacting our daily lives in the future, if at all, in the coming years?

A: Well, I think that robotics will rapidly be entering the mainstream. I think you’ll see ‘em in hospitals, I think you’ll see ‘em in stores. I think people will have them in their homes more so even than they do today. I just think that robots will touch every part of our lives. Transportation, medicine, you name it.

You’ll see them flying around and so forth. So, I think that robots will be almost ubiquitous the way that, you know, computers are.

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October 15, 2014

How Should the Government Approach Self-Driving Cars?

490253483 445x335 How Should the Government Approach Self Driving Cars?

An interior view of a Google self-driving car is seen in Mountain View, California, on May 13, 2014. (GLENN CHAPMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

When thinking about possible privacy and security-related regulation of intelligent vehicle technologies, the Mercatus Center’s Adam Thierer wants to see voluntary best practices along with evolving common law, as opposed to passing laws he contends could quickly become outdated.

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October 10, 2014

Weekly Recap: Net Neutrality, Mobile ‘Cramming’ and a Spacewalk

Among the highlights in happenings from the past few days: President Barack Obama talked net neutrality, AT&T Mobility agreed to a $105 million settlement over mobile “cramming” allegations, and an astronaut popular on Twitter took his first spacewalk outside the International Space Station. That and more news highlights as well as some Technocrat posts are below. For happenings from earlier this week, check out the Mid-Week Catchup.

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October 6, 2014

Andrew McAfee on the ‘Era of Technological Unemployment’

185779384 445x296 Andrew McAfee on the Era of Technological Unemployment

Andrew McAfee (at a different event) at the International New York Times Global Forum Singapore on Oct. 25, 2013. (Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for International New York Times)

People have for 200 years been predicting the “era of technological unemployment,” and have been wrong, said Andrew McAfee, an author and principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Digital Business.

“The question is, is this time finally different?” he asked, speaking at a panel discussion on artificial intelligence at the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday.

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September 22, 2014

Week Ahead: OkCupid, High-Skilled Immigration Policy & Cross-Border Data Flows

Lawmakers are out of town for several weeks, and that means a somewhat quieter week in Washington. But there’s still plenty going on, with OkCupid’s co-founder and president talking at Sixth & I as well as events on high-skilled immigration policy and and cross-border data flows.

Monday

OkCupid’s Christian Rudder caused a stir this summer over a blog post about experiments the online dating site has conducted. He has a new book out and he’ll be at Sixth & I on Monday talking to The Atlantic’s Megan Garber.

On Monday and Tuesday, The National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy hosts a conference titled “High-Skilled Immigration Policy & the Global Competition for Talent.”

Tuesday

On Tuesday, The Brookings Institution hosts an event releasing three papers proposing ways to spur more efficient use of government-owned spectrum.

Wednesday

The Center for Democracy & Technology on Wednesday holds an event on education, data and privacy.

Thursday

On Thursday, Brookings hosts a panel discussion on challenges to cross-border data flows and their potential impacts on communications, trade and commerce.

August 18, 2014

Wikipedia, Cybersecurity, and Aspen Forum This Week

Events on Wikpedia, cybersecurity, startups, and government use of technology to lower costs are on tap this week and the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum in Colorado continues early this week.

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August 6, 2014

No Consensus Among Experts on the Net Job Cost of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence

Technology experts and industry executives are almost evenly divided on whether advances in robotics and artificial intelligence will cause a net loss of jobs in the next decade, according to a report from the Pew Research Center and Elon University in North Carolina. Many of those who responded to a canvass on the future of the Internet did agree that the advances in those technologies would have a broad effect on daily life and that the nation’s educational system isn’t up to the challenge of preparing workers for the altered world.

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 11:32 a.m.
Ideas, Uncategorized

July 18, 2014

Sizing Up the National ‘Research Enterprise’

Is the U.S. measuring its “research enterprise” well enough?

At a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing Thursday, Stephen Fienberg, a statistics and social science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, talked about some findings in a report the National Academy issued last month:

We found that current measures are inadequate to guide national decisions about what research investments will expand the benefits of science. Moreover, we noted that the U.S. lacks an institutionalized capacity for systematically evaluating the nation’s research enterprise taken as a whole and assessing its performance and developing policy options for federally-funded research.

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3D Printing in Space: There’s Much to Learn, Report Says

188124497 445x296 3D Printing in Space: Theres Much to Learn, Report Says

This 3D printer creation by Joshua Harker, shown in Paris in November, was not printed in space. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Three-dimensional printing has been a hot topic lately, with Home Depot even starting to sell the machines in some stores and the National Institutes of Health maintaining an exchange for 3D printer files. What about using 3D printing in space? There are potential benefits, but we still don’t know the full scope of this technology, and its capabilities in the short-term have been exaggerated, says a new report by the National Research Council.

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July 14, 2014

Unauthorized In-App Charges: Questions About Parents’ Role and the FTC’s Approach

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit alleging that Amazon on numerous occasions billed customers for unauthorized “in-app” charges made by children, but several writers are raising questions about whether parents should take more responsibility in choosing what games their children have access to, and how the Federal Trade Commission should go about addressing such issues.

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