LTS LunchTimeSeries on Law, Technology and Society enters into the Winter Term 2018/19!

For the sixth consecutive semester, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Iris Eisenberger, M.Sc. (LSE), Institute of Law at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Konrad Lachmayer, Sigmund Freud University, Vienna, are organising the Lunch Time Series on Law, Technology and Society (LTS).

In the winter term 2018/19, the series will start with a lecture given by Prof. Alain Strowel, University of Louvain (UCLouvain), on "From the Cloud to the Edge: New Ways for Data Appropriation"on 12 October 2018. You can find the announcement here.

On 13 December 2018 Prof. Joanna Bryson, University of Bath, will give a lecture on "Human control of machine intelligence". You can find the announcement here.

As our third guest in this semester, we will welcome Prof. Susanne Beck, LL.M. (LSE), Leibniz University Hannover, on 17 December 2018. She will talk about "Strafbarkeit beim Einsatz autonomer Systeme - Neue Impulse für das Konzept der Fahrlässigkeit?". You can find the announcement here.

After each lecture, there will be an opportunity for public discussion. Based on the Anglo-American model of the Lunch Time Series, the Institute of Law will provide catering. The event is open to all and participation is free of charge.

Please register in advance at: law(at)boku.ac.at.

You can find the complete programm of the semester here.

From the Cloud to the Edge: New Ways for Data Appropriation

19.10.2018

 

“Data is the new oil. It must be collected, refined, and transmitted – preferably without being leaked.” With this analogy, Professor Alain Strowel set the stage for his talk “From the Cloud to the Edge: New Ways for Data Appropriation” on 19 October 2018 at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.

Whereas oil resources are shrinking, the amount of data in our world is enormous and growing larger every minute. One autonomous car, for example, generates up to 4,000 gigabytes of data per day.  How should we regulate the control of and the access to this valuable resource? Who should own it? How should it be saved? And should the legislator regulate it by law or leave it to private autonomy?

Big Data, from the cloud to the edge

Strowel started his lecture by briefly introducing the concept of Big Data as large amounts of data that are interpreted by data analysis tools designed to “cope with data abundance as opposed to data scarcity”.

(Big) data can be stored “in the cloud” or “on the edge”. Whereas data storage in the cloud stores data in a centralized way (e.g., on so-called “server-farms”), computing on the edge decentralises data, bringing processing power closer to the source of data. Strowel explained the tension between the two storage concepts by the examples of smart metering and autonomous cars. Efficient smart metering (e.g., for tracking household energy consumption) relies on a centralised treatment of data and on simple end-devices. Autonomous cars, however, require high local processing power, be-cause a short response time is crucial for the passenger’s safety. From a data protection perspective, diverging data storage designs (here: centralised cloud storage versus decentralised edge compu-ting) can have far-reaching legal consequences. For example, data breaches are more severe if they happen in centralised data silos. In contrast, the more complex the data collecting device on the edge is, the more privacy concerns arise for its user.

Data property and data appropriation

Among other data-related conflicts, the tension between the cloud and the edge can be described using Strowel’s “data appropriation triangle”. The three “corner-questions” of the data appropriation are: How much data regulation should be contractually modifiable? What needs to be laid down as binding law? And where are the limits of legal regulation – where is privacy by technological design necessary?

In other words, the triangle comprises three perspectives on data protection: property rights, contrac-tual means, and technological or practical measures.

Strowel subsequently focussed on the “property rights”- corner. According to Strowel, the data sub-ject’s rights, such as the right to data portability under Article 20 of the General Data Protection Regu-lation (GDPR),  are part of a property-characterised understanding of data. In this context, the audi-ence also discussed ways of categorising data. According to Strowel, the current EU legislation land-scape mostly distinguishes between confidential data and public data as well as personal data and non-personal data. However, Strowel is convinced that these categories are too broad and that we should be more precise with data distinction.

Types of data and data regulation in the EU

As an example of current developments in EU data legislation, Strowel picked the case of text and data mining (TDM) in light of the Draft Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market.  TDM is the process of extracting data and patterns from large datasets. If applied to image recognition, this tool brings data “from the eye to the machine”.

Strowel argued that TDM should not be covered by copyright. For example, autonomous cars in Lon-don will usually create visual representations of the well-known red double-decker buses. Some imag-es with that motive are protected by copyright.  However, the car does not care whether it encounters a suitable motive for works of London-cliché photography. It merely recognises the bus as an object that is best not to be driven into.

Copyright law pursues the objective of protecting the exploitation of work in its capacity as a work. TDM, on the contrary, does not reproduce work “as a work” but only extracts selected data sets (size and position of the obstacle). Hence, TDM does not qualify as an exploitation of protected works.

Relevance of data regulation in today’s world

The subsequent group discussion covered a broad spectrum of topics, including the categorisation of data, the problems of overly complicated privacy guidelines, and the possibilities and limitations of models such as the data appropriation triangle. The lively discussion illustrated once more how relevant and how pressing the questions of data protection law are in today’s world.

Thomas Buocz/Katja Schirmer, October 2018

 

You can find the report in PDF-format here.

Human Control of Machine Intelligence

Human Control of Machine Intelligence

  • "Human control of machine intelligence", an LTS lecture by Professor Joanna Bryson (University of Bath)
  • 13 December 2018
  • 12:00 - 13:30
  • Guttenberghaus, Seminar Room SR 03, Ground Floor
    Feistmantelstraße 4, 1180 Wien
    University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)

The lecture will be followed by an open discussion. In Anglo-American tradition, catering will be provided during the lecture. The event is open for everyone and participation is free of charge.

Please register until 10 December 2018 via law(at)boku.ac.at.

Although not a universally-held goal, maintaining human control of artificial intelligence is probably essential for society’s long-term stability. Fortunately, the legal and technological problems of maintaining control are actually fairly well understood and amenable to engineering. The real problem is establishing the social and political will for assigning and maintaining accountability for artefacts when these artefacts are generated or used. In this talk I will discuss why we should maintain not only control but responsibility for AI, whether we have control now, and what technological and regulatory steps we can take to improve the present situation for the benefit of the very long term.

Joanna J. Bryson is a transdisciplinary researcher on the structure and dynamics of human- and animal-like intelligence. Her research covering topics from artificial intelligence, through autonomy and robot ethics, and on to human cooperation has appeared in venues ranging from a reddit to Science. She holds degrees in Psychology from Chicago and Edinburgh, and Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh and MIT. She has additional professional research experience from Princeton, Oxford, Harvard, and LEGO, and technical experience in Chicago's financial industry, and international management consultancy. Bryson is presently a Reader (associate professor) at the University of Bath.

You can find a PDF of the announcement here.

Strafbarkeit beim Einsatz autonomer Systeme – Neue Impulse für das Konzept der Fahrlässigkeit?

Strafbarkeit beim Einsatz autonomer Systeme – Neue Impulse für das Konzept der Fahrlässigkeit?

  • "Strafbarkeit beim Einsatz autonomer Systeme – Neue Impulse für
    das Konzept der Fahrlässigkeit?", an LTS lecture by Professor Dr. Susanne Beck (Leibniz University Hannover)
  • 17 December 2018
  • 12:00 - 13:30
  • Oskar-Simony-Haus, Seminar Room SR 19/1, Attic Floor
    Peter-Jordan-Straße 65, 1180 Wien
    University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)

The lecture will be followed by an open discussion. In Anglo-American tradition, catering will be provided during the lecture. The event is open for everyone and participation is free of charge.

Please register until 12 December 2018 via law(at)boku.ac.at.

Die zunehmende Autonomie von Maschinen stellt das Recht vor viele neue Herausforderungen. Die Entwicklung bringt bisher unbekannte Risiken mit sich. Die Entscheidung der Maschine im Einzelfall wird unvorhersehbar und unkontrollierbar. Im Nachhinein ist eine eindeutige Zurechnung eines schädigenden Ereignisses zu einem spezifischen Fehlverhalten selten möglich. All dies erschwert eine eindeutige Zuordnung im Bereich der Fahrlässigkeit und klare Festlegung von Verhaltensregeln. Aber passt das traditionelle Fahrlässigkeitskonzept überhaupt noch zu derart globalen, unvorhersehbaren technologischen Entwicklungen? Oder können diese Entwicklungen gerade dazu beitragen, althergebrachte und vielleicht veraltete Strukturen aufzubrechen und neue Lösungen zu entwickeln?

Susanne Beck, Master of Law (LSE), Promotion und Habilitation an der Universität Würzburg (2006 und 2013) ist seit 2013 Professorin für u.a. Strafrecht und Rechtsphilosophie an der Leibniz Universität Hannover. Seit über zehn Jahren befasst sie sich mit verschiedenen rechtlichen Fragen der Entwicklungen im Bereich Robotik und KI, auch als Mitglied bei acatech, der Plattform Lernende Systeme oder der Foundation for Responsible Robotics.

You can find a PDF of the announcement (in German) here.