Cornell’s Tech/Law Colloquium kicks off next week

Cornell’s Tech/Law Colloquium returns this fall semester with a slate of 12 free public talks from leading scholars in the areas of digital technology, ethics, law and policy.

A collaboration between Computing and Information Science, the Law School and the newly formed Artificial Intelligence, Policy, and Practice initiative, the hybrid course and public lecture series addresses fundamental questions concerning artificial intelligence, the need for stronger policy to help govern it, and its implications when broadly applied to inform sensitive decisions.

Specifically, this semester’s talks will explore areas like regulations in the trucking industry, “refractive surveillance” in retail stores, and how high-tech tools are used in the criminal justice system. Notable speakers will include Virginia Eubanks, whose book, “Automating Inequality,” was praised in the New York Times Sunday Review of Books, and Tarleton Gillespie, author of “Custodians of the Internet.”

The Tech/Law Colloquium kicks off Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. with Kristian Lum, lead statistician at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, discussing the impacts of biased data in predictive policing. Video recordings will be available on both the Tech/Law Colloquium website and at

“It’s crucial that technologists have some knowledge of the legal and ethical implications of what they build, and vice versa, that law and policy folks understand the capabilities of new technologies,” said Karen Levy, assistant professor of information science and lead instructor of the Tech/Law Colloquium. “AI is shaping people’s life outcomes in all kinds of contexts, from what we see online to how we treat society’s most vulnerable people. I’m really excited to bring this slate of scholars to Cornell to help us think through these challenges.”

All talks will take place Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in 182 Myron Taylor Hall, unless otherwise noted.

  • Aug. 28 – Kristian Lum (Human Rights Data Analysis Group): “Bias In, Bias Out.”
  • Sept. 4 – Karen Levy (Cornell University): “Refractive Surveillance: Monitoring Customers to Manage Workers.”
  • Sept. 11 – David Robinson (Upturn/Cornell University): “Danger Ahead: Risk Assessment and the Future of Bail Reform.”
  • Sept. 18 – Ari Waldman (New York Law School): “Outsourcing Privacy.”
  • Sept. 25 – Helen Nissenbaum (Cornell Tech): “Must Privacy Give Way to Use Regulation?”
  • Thursday, Oct. 2 – Anne Balay (Haverford College): “Hammer Down: The Network of Regulations that Shape Trucking.”
  • Thursday, Oct. 23 – Julia Powles (NYU/Cornell Tech)
  • 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, G01 Gates Hall – Virginia Eubanks (SUNY Albany): “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor.” This talk is co-sponsored by Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality.
  • Oct. 30 – Sarah Lageson (Rutgers University-Newark School of Criminal Justice): “Digital Punishment Through Online Criminal Records.”
  • Thursday, Nov. 6 – Andrew Selbst (Data & Society Research Institute): “Fairness and Abstraction in Sociotechnical Systems.”
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13 – Tarleton Gillespie (Cornell University, Microsoft Research): “Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media.”
  • Tuesday, Nov. 27 – Natalie Ram (University of Baltimore School of Law): “Rebuilding Privacy Practices After Carpenter.”

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson