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Science and Technology Law

University of Michigan Law School

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The Promise And Limits Of Lawfulness: Inequality, Law, And The Techlash, Salomé Viljoen Sep 2021

The Promise And Limits Of Lawfulness: Inequality, Law, And The Techlash, Salomé Viljoen

Articles

In response to widespread skepticism about the recent rise of “tech ethics”, many critics have called for legal reform instead. In contrast with the “ethics response”, critics consider the “lawfulness response” more capable of disciplining the excesses of the technology industry. In fact, both are simultaneously vulnerable to industry capture and capable of advancing a more democratic egalitarian agenda for the information economy. Both ethics and law offer a terrain of contestation, rather than a predetermined set of commitments by which to achieve more democratic and egalitarian technological production. In advancing this argument, the essay focuses on two misunderstandings common …


Clearing Opacity Through Machine Learning, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Arti K. Rai Jan 2021

Clearing Opacity Through Machine Learning, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Arti K. Rai

Articles

Artificial intelligence and machine learning represent powerful tools in many fields, ranging from criminal justice to human biology to climate change. Part of the power of these tools arises from their ability to make predictions and glean useful information about complex real-world systems without the need to understand the workings of those systems.


Are Litigation Outcome Disparities Inevitable? Courts, Technology, And The Future Of Impartiality., Avital Mentovich, J.J. Prescott, Orna Rabinovich-Einy Jan 2020

Are Litigation Outcome Disparities Inevitable? Courts, Technology, And The Future Of Impartiality., Avital Mentovich, J.J. Prescott, Orna Rabinovich-Einy

Articles

This article explores the ability of technology—specifically, online judicial procedures—to eliminate systematic group-level litigation outcome disparities (i.e., disparities correlated with the visible identity markers of litigants). Our judicial system has long operated under the assumption that it can only be “impartial enough.” After all, judges, like all human beings, harbor implicit biases that are often sizable, unconscious, and triggered automatically, and research indicates that strategies to curb implicit biases in human decision making may be ineffective, especially in the face of the resource and caseload constraints of modern-day adjudication. The recent emergence of online court proceedings, however, offers new hope …


Medical Ai And Contextual Bias, W. Nicholson Price Ii Sep 2019

Medical Ai And Contextual Bias, W. Nicholson Price Ii

Articles

Artificial intelligence will transform medicine. One particularly attractive possibility is the democratization of medical expertise. If black-box medical algorithms can be trained to match the performance of high-level human experts — to identify malignancies as well as trained radiologists, to diagnose diabetic retinopathy as well as board-certified ophthalmologists, or to recommend tumor-specific courses of treatment as well as top-ranked oncologists — then those algorithms could be deployed in medical settings where human experts are not available, and patients could benefit. But there is a problem with this vision. Privacy law, malpractice, insurance reimbursement, and FDA approval standards all encourage developers …


Fourth Amendment Constraints On The Technological Monitoring Of Convicted Sex Offenders, Ben A. Mcjunkin, J. J. Prescott Jul 2018

Fourth Amendment Constraints On The Technological Monitoring Of Convicted Sex Offenders, Ben A. Mcjunkin, J. J. Prescott

Articles

More than forty U.S. states currently track at least some of their convicted sex offenders using GPS devices. Many offenders will be monitored for life. The burdens and expense of living indefinitely under constant technological monitoring have been well documented, but most commentators have assumed that these burdens were of no constitutional moment because states have characterized such surveillance as ‘‘civil’’ in character—and courts have seemed to agree. In 2015, however, the Supreme Court decided in Grady v. North Carolina that attaching a GPS monitoring device to a person was a Fourth Amendment search, notwithstanding the ostensibly civil character of …


The Future Of Law And Mobility, Daniel A. Crane Jun 2018

The Future Of Law And Mobility, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

With the launch of the new Journal of Law and Mobility, the University of Michigan is recognizing the transformative impact of new transportation and mobility technologies, from cars, to trucks, to pedestrians, to drones. The coming transition towards intelligent, automated, and connected mobility systems will transform not only the way people and goods move about, but also the way human safety, privacy, and security are protected, cities are organized, machines and people are connected, and the public and private spheres are defined.


Improving Access To Justice In State Courts With Platform Technology, J. J. Prescott Nov 2017

Improving Access To Justice In State Courts With Platform Technology, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Access to justice often equates to access to state courts, and for millions of Americans, using state courts to resolve their disputes—often with the government—is a real challenge. Reforms are regularly proposed in the hopes of improving the situation (e.g., better legal aid), but until recently a significant part of the problem has been structural. Using state courts today for all but the simplest of legal transactions entails at the very least traveling to a courthouse and meeting with a decision maker in person and in a one-on-one setting. Even minimally effective access, therefore, requires time, transportation, and very often …


Factors In Fairness And Emotion In Online Case Resolution Systems, Youyang Hou, Cliff Lampe, Maximilian Bulinski, J. J. Prescott May 2017

Factors In Fairness And Emotion In Online Case Resolution Systems, Youyang Hou, Cliff Lampe, Maximilian Bulinski, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Courts are increasingly adopting online information and communication technology, creating a need to consider the potential consequences of these tools for the justice system. Using survey responses from 209 litigants who had recently used an online case resolution system, we investigate factors that influenced litigants’ experiences of fairness and emotional feelings toward court officials. Our results show that ease of using the online case resolution system, the outcome of the case, and a litigant’s perceptions of procedural justice are positively associated both with whether the litigant views the process as fair and whether the litigant ultimately feels positive emotions toward …


Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2015

Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

When copyright lawyers gather to discuss fair use, the most common refrain is its alarming expansion. Their distress about fair use’s enlarged footprint seems completely untethered from any appreciation of the remarkable increase in exclusive copyright rights. In the nearly forty years since Congress enacted the 1976 copyright act, the rights of copyright owners have expanded markedly. Copyright owners’ demands for further expansion continue unabated. Meanwhile, they raise strident objections to proposals to add new privileges and exceptions to the statute to shelter non-infringing uses that might be implicated by their expanded rights. Copyright owners have used the resulting uncertainty …


Public Vs. Proprietary Science: A Fruitful Tension?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Richard R. Nelson Jan 2002

Public Vs. Proprietary Science: A Fruitful Tension?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Richard R. Nelson

Articles

What should be public and what should be private in scientific research? The competitive sprint of public and private laboratories to complete the sequence of the human genome has brought this question to the fore. The same question frames the developing struggle over terms of access to human embryonic stem cell lines and the conflict between Microsoft and the open source movement over how best to promote software development. We expect such conflicts to become more widespread as the role of for-profit research expands in a broader range of scientific fields. Will science progress more swiftly and fruitfully if its …


Copyright Legislation And Technological Change, Jessica D. Litman Jan 1989

Copyright Legislation And Technological Change, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Throughout its history, copyright law has had difficulty accommodating technological change. Although the substance of copyright legislation in this century has evolved from meetings among industry representatives whose avowed purpose was to draft legislation that provided for the future,6 the resulting statutes have done so poorly. The language of copyright statutes has been phrased in fact-specific language that has grown obsolete as new modes and mediums of copyrightable expression have developed. Whatever copyright statute has been on the books has been routinely, and justifiably, criticized as outmoded.7 In this Article, I suggest that the nature of the legislative process we …


The Political Economy Of Barry Commoner, James E. Krier Jan 1989

The Political Economy Of Barry Commoner, James E. Krier

Articles

The centerpiece of what follows is an article by Barry Commoner that appeared in The New Yorker magazine in 1987.' The article, although an essentially popular work, is for several reasons worth the attention of a community professionally interested in law and the environment. First, it distills and supplements views that Commoner has advanced with much prominence throughout the life-twenty years to date-of the environmental movement in the United States. Thus it provides an opportunity for the present generation's students of environmental law, many of whom seem to know nothing of Commoner and his ideas, to become familiar with a …


Performer's Rights And Digital Sampling Under U.S. And Japanese Law, Jessica D. Litman Jan 1988

Performer's Rights And Digital Sampling Under U.S. And Japanese Law, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

A year or two ago, one of my copyright students called to my attention a problem that seemed to him to pose unique difficulties for the copyright statute. The problem arises because of a technology called digital sampling.' Digital sampling is a new threat to performers' rights that has grown out of the combination of digital recording technology with music synthesizer technology. This threat is a very recent one. Indeed, the digital sampling problem is so new that copyright lawyers haven't yet figured out how to think about it.


The Un-Easy Case For Technological Optimism, James E. Krier, Clayton P. Gillette Jan 1985

The Un-Easy Case For Technological Optimism, James E. Krier, Clayton P. Gillette

Articles

"Technological optimism" is a term of art, an article of faith, and a theory of politics. It is a view that pervades modem attitudes, yet gets little explicit attention. For a brief period the situation was otherwise. In the early 1970s, the optimistic outlook figured prominently in an important debate about nothing less than the future of the world. Technological optimism won. The outcome was unsurprising, given the nature of the argument. On one side of the debate was a group of self-proclaimed Malthusians who foresaw an impending period of stark scarcity unless relatively drastic remedial steps were quickly taken; …