Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents a new challenge for the international community as it is still emerging which requires a highly flexible approach. At the same time, developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) will try to ensure that they are not left behind under the mercy of the states and companies that are investing the most in AI. In a way, the interests of the states and companies investing in AI are similar to the ones of the nations that have abundant natural resources such as oil, gas or water. The current debate concerning these resources revolves around the fact that the latter are seen from the perspective of the states in which they are located as the property of these nations on the basis of customary international law mainly the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources. Likewise, AI could be perceived in a similar manner by the states in which the investments are taking place albeit it is more likely that new international principles will emerge to justify this approach. Yet, the nations that do not have the capacity to develop AI could claim that this sector should be considered as a common heritage of mankind which requires the establishment of an international authority that would ensure that these countries have access to the new technologies. Granting access to these technologies could however be problematic because the current intellectual property regime is focused on protecting the rights of business and individuals rather than on leveraging technological advancements for developmental purposes.
This debate is taking place in a situation where US tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook constitute a de facto monopoly in their industries and competitors especially from China such as Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, Baidu just recently started to make an impact and to challenge the status quo. The case of 5G network development by Huawei and of the Chinese 2017 AI development plan are in this sense emblematic. Moreover, governments and policy-makers in the developed world are not really capable of imposing extremely strict regulations or understanding this great level of technological sophistication to anticipate the kind of regulations that could be imposed.
The above mentioned issues constitute just the tip of the iceberg as the AI field is only emerging while the technological developments are occurring at an extremely fast speed. This reality is very much welcome from a technological perspective but is actually alarming from a legal point of view as the policy-makers and regulators at the national level are not capable of adapting the rules in accordance with the fast developments. The many fields that are emerging in the context of AI are creating further confusions among policy-makers and legislators that are unable to understand the technological developments that are occurring in the first place let alone regulating them.
National or international legal developments occur at an extremely slow pace while in the same time several states lack the technical capabilities to regulate an extremely technical sector such as AI. Hence, attempting to regulate this sector through the conventional methods would hinder innovation that is very much needed for development of new technologies. Indeed, the huge complexities surrounding this field re- quire a new approach from a legal perspective allowing policy-makers to keep up with the fast changes as well as to have the capacity to understand highly complex technical matters. In fact, technologies such as big data and block chains are posing a great challenge to the national and international legal systems as a whole as the developments that are occurring are extremely fast that by the time a legislative text is adopted, there is a need to update the drafted provisions. Hence, there are many questions associated with the regulation of these technologies at the international and national levels which have not been addressed for the time being and where several re- search institutes, universities etc. are conducting extensive research on these matters without however reaching concrete results. As such, the debate over these issues is just emerging, which is why, there is a need for conducting research on these matters to understand their impacts on the society worldwide taking into consideration the different level of technological developments of each state, cultures and other factors that may impact the ways these technologies are perceived in a particular context.
The objective of this conference is to analyze from the perspectives of humanities and social sciences the impact that science and technology have on the society. We invite contributions addressing but not limited to the following topics:
• Emerging technologies and global administrative law. How can previous regulatory frameworks provide a much needed support in terms of regulation?
• Emerging technologies and public administrative law. Should the regulation of these technologies be conducted in the framework of public international law?
• Emerging technologies and private international law. How can private international regulatory frameworks provide a much needed support in terms of regulation?
• Emerging technologies and regulatory frameworks. What kinds of international rules can be adopted in this context?
• Emerging technologies and regulatory structures. What kind of international structure can be created to manage such technologies on the international level?
• Emerging technologies and gender. What is the impact of the new technologies on gender equality and how would new technologies affect such equality?
• Emerging technologies and the multipolar world. How new technologies would change the shape of global politics, international relations etc.?
• Emerging technologies and society. How emerging technologies would affect the different existing societies the same way globalization did and vice-versa and what is the role of the law in this regard?
• Emerging technologies and human rights. Would these new technologies affect human rights and if yes how so?
• Emerging technologies and the field of Business Law, Finance, Human resources and Labour law. What is the impact of emerging technologies on the organisational scheme of business, of doing business as such, recruiting personnel and how would the Service Sector (Insurances, Finance, Transport) be affected by disruptional technologies (Legal Techs), and to what extent is Data protection and the ownership of dates a stepping stone or stumbling block?
• Emerging technologies and the state. Would new technologies surpass the powers of the state in a similar manner that multinational companies have surpassed the powers of many states in developing and Least Developing Countries (LDCs)?
• Emerging technologies and sustainable development. What are the contributions of these technologies to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to socioeconomic development of LDCs?
• Emerging technologies and intellectual property. Is the current intellectual property regime able to boost innovation while at the meantime further the objectives of the international community?
The conference will take place at the premises of the Brunswick European Law School (BELS) – Ostfalia, Germany on 28-29 November 2019.
Applications must be submitted by 1 November 2019 via email to the attention of Professor Winfried Huck and Professor Paolo Davide Farah at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include the following information:
• The author’s name and affiliation;
• A 500-700-word abstract [Wordfile or PDF];
• The author’s CV,including a list of relevant publications, if applicable;
• The author’s contact details,including e-mail address and phone number;
• Whether the author is an ASIL member Co-authored papers are also welcomed.
The organizers have publication plans for the presented papers.The precise format of publication will be discussed during the conference. Among the options already available at the time of the call for papers,the organizers envisage to publish a book collection in the Routledge Publishing (New-York/ London) multidisciplinary gLAWcal book series on “Transnational Law and Governance” or a special issue/symposium in relevant peer-review SSCI or US journals.The presenters, who have previous commitments with other publication outlets or prefer different journals or publishers, will of course remain free to publish their papers independently from the conference symposium/special is-sue/book collection.
Paolo Davide Farah (West Virginia University, USA and gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development,UK & and ASIL IG on International Environmental Lawand Intellectual Property Law)
Winfried Huck (Dean and Professor for International and European Economic Law at Brunswick European Law School (BELS) – Ostfalia,Germany; Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG), University of Cambridge,UK ; Professor at the Chinese German College for Postgraduate Studies(CDHK) at Tongji University, Shanghai and Visiting Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL), University of Cambridge, UK)
The host organisation will take care of arrangements and suggestions for a stay in the city of Braunschweig. Further information will be provided.
The Venue on 28 November 2019 will take place at:
the Faculty of Law at Ostfalia Hochschulefür Angewandte Wis- senschaften– Hochschule Braun- schweig/Wolfenbüttel
From Airport Hannover
Take the Deutsche Bahn to Braunschweig Central Station.Continue with bus lines 420 to the stop “Mittelweg” (crossing Salzdahlumer Str.) in Wolfenbuettel. From the bus stop, it takes about 10-15 minutes to get there. Salzdahlumer Str. To the two university locations. On this route,there is also a direct connection with the 793 line. Bus connection. For the exact departure times, please use Electronic timetable information (www.efa.de)
Brunswick European Law School
Salzdahlumer Str. 46/48 38302 Wolfenbüttel
Building of the Faculty of Law
The venue at the 29 Novemberwill be:
Haus Der Wissenschaft Braunschweig
You can reach the Haus der Wissenschaft,which is located near the Main Campus of the Technical University of Braunschweig close to the city within an easy walking distance also by bus line 419 (coming directly from the central station) or 429 (coming from the opposite direction). In both cases the stop is “Pockelsstraße”. The stop is located near the building. The nearest tram stops are “Mühlenpfordtstraße” (lines M1, M2), walking distance to the house approx.Five minutes and “Botanischer Garten”(line M3), walking distance approx. 8 minutes.
Haus Der Wissenschaft Braunschweig
The workshop is organized by Brunswick European Law School (BELS)– Ostfalia, Germany. The event is in collaboration with gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, UK, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Interest Group on International Environmental Law, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Interest Group on Intellectual Property Law, West Virginia University, Department of Public Administration and West Virginia University, Center for Innovation in Gas Research and Utilization (CIGRU).