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Fall 2020 Reading Group

Autonomous Vehicles and the Law

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have generated excitement and anxiety about the impact of autonomous systems on our society. A common theme in discussions about AI is the difficulty in determining who is responsible when autonomous systems cause harm. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate this question of liability through the case study of self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles. We will explore the historical basis of automobile liability, discuss how AI complicates our traditional approach to assigning legal responsibility, and examine the ethical challenge inherent in designing systems that can autonomously make life-and-death decisions. Finally, we will consider the way that rules and laws developed to address liability in the self-driving car space may be implemented across other emerging but critically important AI-influenced fields, such as health care, finance, and industrial production.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 9/8, 9/15, 9/29, 10/6, 10/20, 10/27