UW News

May 19, 2016

UW to host first of four White House public workshops on artificial intelligence

News and Information

From self-driving vehicles to social robots, artificial intelligence is evolving at a rapid pace, creating vast opportunities as well as complex challenges.

Recognizing that, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is co-hosting four public workshops on artificial intelligence — the first of them May 24 at the University of Washington. Subsequent events will take place in Washington, D.C.; in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and in New York City.

Put on by the UW School of Law and the UW Tech Policy Lab, the session will focus on legal and policy issues around artificial intelligence, or AI.

Speakers include:

  • Kellye Testy, law school dean and president of the Association of American Law Schools
  • R. David Edelman, special assistant to the president for economic and technology policy
  • Edward Felten, White House deputy U.S. chief technology officer
  • Ryan Calo, a UW assistant professor of law and co-director of the Tech Policy Lab
  • Pedro Domingos, a UW professor of computer science and engineering and author of “The Master Algorithm
  • Oren Etzioni, chief executive officer of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and a UW professor of computer science and engineering
  • Deirdre Mulligan, an associate professor in the School of Information at UC Berkeley and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology
  • Kate Crawford, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research New York City and senior researcher at NYU Information Law Institute
  • Jack Balkin, a law professor at Yale Law School
  • Camille Fischer, policy advisor, National Economic Council
  • Terah Lyons, policy advisor, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Etzioni will provide an overview on the current state of artificial intelligence, followed by two panel discussions. The first will examine issues around making decisions in the private or public sector using artificial intelligence.

The second panel will focus on logistical aspects of AI applications, such as when the government might reasonably feel comfortable turning mail delivery over to robots or how safe autonomous flight must be to be used for deliveries.

The aim of the workshops is to look at the advantages and drawbacks of artificial intelligence. As a White House blog post points out, President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative and the Cancer Moonshot will both rely on AI to identify patterns in medical data and help doctors diagnose diseases and determine treatment plans. But others worry the technology will displace human workers, or go so far as to warn that it could pose a threat to the human race.

The UW workshop, free and open to the public, will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. May 24 in the Magnuson Jackson Courtroom 138 at the UW School of Law. A reception follows from 5 to 7 p.m. Registration is available online, and the conference will be live-streamed.

The next workshop in the series, about artificial intelligence for social good, is June 7 in Washington, D.C., followed by a June 28 session on safety and control for AI at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a July 7 workshop in New York City on the social and economic implications of AI.

For more information, contact Ryan Calo at rcalo@uw.edu or 206-543-1580.