Augmentation or Replacement is the great long-term question about Artificial Intelligence. How far should AI be entrusted to assume tasks once performed by humans? What is gained and lost when it does? What is the optimal mix of robotic and human interaction? In his new book, New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI (Harvard), Frank Pasquale makes the case that policymakers must not allow corporations or engineers to answer these questions alone. The kind of automation we get—and who it benefits—will depend on myriad small decisions about how to develop the technology.
Frank and philosopher Evan Selinger discuss the issues raised in this important new book.
Frank Pasquale is Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and a noted expert on the law of artificial intelligence (AI), algorithms, and machine learning. His work focuses on how information is used across a number of areas, including health law, commerce, and tech. His wide-ranging expertise encompasses the study of the rapidity of technological advances and the unintended consequences of the interaction of privacy law, intellectual property, and antitrust laws, as well as the power of private sector intermediaries to influence healthcare and education finance policy. His book, The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information (Harvard University Press 2015), was a landmark study on how 'Big Data' affects our lives. The book develops a social theory of reputation, search, and finance, while promoting pragmatic reforms to improve the information economy. In addition to his new book a volume on AI he co-edited, The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI (Oxford University Press 2020), will also be published this year.
Evan Selinger is a Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology and an Affiliate Scholar at Northeastern University’s Center for Law, Innovation, and Creativity. Much of his research and teaching focuses on the philosophy of technology, broadly understood. Tech-ethics (including AI) and privacy are his areas of expertise. With Brett Frischmann he co-authored Re-Engineering Humanity (Cambridge University Press) and writes for a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, Wired, The Atlantic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe. He also works with legal and advocacy organisations like the ACLU and The Justice Collaborative Institute on issues relating to facial recognition technology.