Academic Research

Artificial Intelligence and the Law

CLS convenes it first meeting of the AI and the Law discussion forum to explore areas of research interest for both staff and students.

Algorithms are around us—whether it is news of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica manipulating US elections and undermining democracy, or UK government deciding A-Level results in the wake of Covid-19, or Uber and Lyft being accused of bias, the increasing use of artificial intelligence and robotics not only affecting our lives but is also challenging the traditional boundaries of law.

The increasing reliance of economic and governance sectors on algorithms to make decisions that have an increasingly far-reaching impact on individuals and society, potentially leading to manipulation, biases, censorship, social discrimination, violations of privacy and property rights, and more has sparked a global debate on how to regulate AI and robotics.

Given the significance of this debate for our lives and for the discipline of law that we are so passionate about, we decided to launch an AI and the Law discussion forum at Coventry Law School with the aim to learn from this ongoing debate and, in time, to contribute to it. To this end, the forum proposes a two-fold strategy. In the short term, it plans to provide a platform to discuss different issues related to AI and the law, to develop an understanding of the range of sectors in which AI is applied, and to develop an understanding of several key initiatives at the international and European levels on forthcoming AI ethics and regulation. Whilst in the long term, the forum plans to build collaborations with groups and forums in other universities to create and explore synergies in this rapidly growing area of the law; to develop short and long courses focusing on AI for delivery at CLS and to provide research support for masters and PhD students.

The first meeting of the Forum was held on 8th October 2020 and immediately demonstrated the range of expertise and interest available for AI in both staff and students. In particular, Luo Li shared her interest in the role of AI in the Music industry, particularly in the copyrightability of music created by AI and whether robots have any moral right that they may assert in respect of its creations. Amber Darr was keen to understand algorithmic collusion amongst market players which results in anti-competitive practices and abuse in the market economy.

Steve Foster expressed an interest in examining AI from a human rights perspective, particularly privacy, data surveillance and data retention whilst Andrew Jones and Emma Marchant were interested in the humanitarian law angle of AI particularly in the context of armed conflict and military drones. Whilst Emma is more interested in the employment of AI in intelligence gathering, Andrew Jones approaches this issue with relation to the use of AI in targeting decisions in cyber warfare.

You can find out more about Coventry University’s research through our dedicated research pages.

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