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Semester 1

Robotics and the Law (LAWS10196)







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**This course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.** Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces. If there is sufficient space for other visiting students to enrol at the start of the semester, visiting students must have completed at least 3 Law courses at grade B or above to qualify for this course; we will only consider University/College level courses.

Course Summary

This course introduces students to the legal and wider regulatory issues raised by the increasing use of automated and autonomous devices. As we increasingly allow machines to make decisions for us, this raises significant problems for our legal concepts of liability, responsibility legal personhood. Do we need law to prevent the robot uprising beloved by Science Fiction writers?

Course Description

Since robots rely on sensors to perform their tasks, they also raise issues of data protection and privacy. The legal issues raised by autonomous agents that conclude contracts online on behalf of their owner will be discussed, as will be the regulatory issues of care/ companion robots in a medical setting, selfdriving cars and the automated city; and military applications such as drones The course covers both embodied artificial intelligence systems (robots) and non-embodied devices (autonomous agents). Legal ramifications of these technologies are studied also with a view on their political, economic and ethical implications. Special attention will be given to efforts to create an international legal regime and associated proposals to standardise certain legal responses to robot technology globally. In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of the specific legal issues that are created by a number of particularly important applications of robotics and autonomous agent technology, students will also acquire a generic understanding of the types of problems that are raised by autonomous technologies for the theory of regulation. They will gain an understanding of the limits of regulation by law and the ability to evaluate comparatively other modes of regulation for a given problem

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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