20 June 2018

Robot Lawyering and Roadmaps

'Law Without Mind: AI, Ethics, and Jurisprudence' by Joshua P. Davis comments
Anything we can conceive that computers may do, it seems that they end up doing and that they end up doing it better than us and much sooner than we expected. They have gone from calculating mathematics for us to creating and maintaining our social networks to serving as our personal assistants. We are told they may soon become our friends and make life and death decisions driving our cars. Perhaps they will also take over interpreting our laws. It is not that hard to conceive of computers doing so to the extent legal interpretation involves mere description or prediction. It is much harder to conceive of computers making substantive moral judgments. So the ultimate bulwark against ceding legal interpretation to computers—from having computers usurp the responsibility and authority of attorneys, citizens, and even judges—may be to recognize the role of moral judgment in saying what the law is. That possibility connects the cutting edge with the traditional. The central dispute in jurisprudence for the past half century or more has been about the role of morality in legal interpretation. Suddenly, that dispute has great currency and urgency. Jurisprudence may help us to clarify and circumscribe the role of computers in our legal system. And contemplating AI may help us to resolve jurisprudential debates that have vexed us for decades.
The QUT A Robotics Roadmap for Australia 2018 characterises robots
as a tool to unlock human potential, modernise the economy, and build national health, well-being and sustainability 
Robotics in Australia will maintain our living standards, help protect the environment, provide services to remote communities, reduce healthcare costs, provide safer more fulfilling jobs, prepare the next generation for the future, encourage investment and reshore jobs back to Australia.
The authors state
Australia’s first Robotics Roadmap is a guide to how Australia can harness the benefits of a new robot economy. Building on Australia’s strengths in robot talent and technologies in niche application areas, the roadmap acts a guide to how Australia can support a vibrant robotics industry that supports automation across all sectors of the Australian economy.
1 We must develop new high-tech firms and a vibrant robotics industry in Australia if we are to maintain our standard of living 
2 We can prepare the next generation for the jobs of the future by providing education and upskilling opportunities to equip all Australians with Industry 4.0 relevant skills 
3 We have the opportunity to become a testbed for robotics technology by leading the world in ethical, legal and standards frameworks 
4 We can build national capability in robotics by forming research and technology clusters to develop existing talents and encourage new talent, technology and businesses 
5 We must develop an entrepreneurial culture to set moon shot goals and challenges and encourage VC investment in the robotics industry
Australia has a unique opportunity to take advantage of our human talents and unique environment to transition to a robot-ready economy while retraining and upskilling its workforce. This requires the collaborative, multi-sector approach outlined in this summary of A Robotics Roadmap for Australia. This roadmap shows a pathway to the future we envision for Australia. 
A future where:
  • Robots do the dull, dirty and dangerous tasks not suited to human beings; 
  • Robots solve many of the world’s most pressing challenges such as war, famine, natural disasters and environmental damage; 
  • Robots help humans unlock potential and explore the furthest reaches of our universe.
This is a future where a prosperous Australia embraces a robot economy and builds national health, well-being and sustainability despite the challenges of our vast and remote geography. 
Underpinning A Robotics Roadmap for Australia are five key principles 
Jobs matter A robotics industry will enhance economic competitiveness to create meaningful jobs and, with the right policy settings, help adapt existing ones 
Time matters The right use of robotics eliminates workplace routine, improves efficiency and allows workers to dedicate time to interesting and more fulfilling tasks 
Safety is imperative Robotics reduces the risk of workers being placed in hazardous situations 
Remote communities need to be served Automation helps provide better and more consistent services to remote areas difficult to serve 
Certainty counts Investment decisions need clarity of understanding. 
The roadmap offers the means to find that clarity as well as demonstrating the current and likely future state of robotics in Australia
The consequent recommendations are -
Industry - Ensure Australia’s ongoing prosperity by stimulating formation of new hi-tech firms, encouraging global tech giants to invest in Australia, and reskilling Australian workers
  • Encourage formation of new hi-tech firms The venture capital sector is essential to technology investment but is small by international standards Encourage investment by large multinationals Quality graduates and researchers need stable employment to stay onshore 
  • Develop skills in firms Small- to medium- sized enterprises need help to build their capabilities to take advantage of robotics 
Education - Equip all Australians with Industry 4.0 relevant skills 
  • Build national capacity - More focus on education and better gender balance will build a skilled workforce 

  • Develop micro-credentials and vocational education in robotics - Addition of micro-credentials to university programs offers Australia a chance to leapfrog other nations
 Government - Lead the region in catalysing robotics activity by setting ethical, legal, regulatory and standards frameworks, adopting robotics in government services
  • Develop ethical, legal and regulatory frameworks - Clear rules will build trust and create certainty for industry 
  • Create support infrastructure for robots - New network technologies and adequate bandwidth are essential to encourage robot use 
  • Collect information on robotics and robotics-related companies in Australia - Robotic activity is subsumed by the industries they serve but a full picture will guide national policy 
  • Develop policies to upskill and retrain and support skilled migration - Building Australia’s talent base helps build our capacity 
  • Establish robotics test beds - Our land mass and low population density makes us the ideal location to trial technologies 
  • Develop appropriate standards - More and more robots will work in public, unconstrained environments so safety is essential
R and D - Develop clusters of robotics activity, encourage VC investment, develop pathways to commercialisation and encourage application of the social sciences
  • Form robotics technology clusters - Hothouses for new ideas can bring together researchers, technologists and investors 
  • Develop appropriate funding framework for robotics technologies - Funding needs to be more accessible for new and existing firms to embrace robotics 
  • Develop robotics-related industry knowledge priorities - Prioritise R and D funding to make best use of existing strengths and avoid duplication 
  • Encourage inter-disciplinary research and develop social licence for robotics - Technology and social science collaboration will create robots that will be accepted and adopted
Culture - Support an entrepreneurial culture around Australia’s niche robotics capability and harness the nation’s imagination through aspirational goals solving Australian challenges
  • Develop national robotics strategy - Collaboration will help develop standards and to co-ordinate activity  
  • Improve awareness of benefits of robotics - Encourage narratives which show the success stories of robotics - safety, efficiency, reshoring 
  • Develop research priorities and challenges - The staging of technology challenges will spark creativity and imagination and solve real problems