Thursday, September 26, 2013

GikII in New Scientist! and went to the beach!

New Scientist, the leading UK magazine on science and technology, recently covered GikII, the world’s first law, technology and popular culture workshop, which has run annually for 8 years and is chaired by Professor Pangloss ie  Lilian Edwards of  Strathclyde’s Centre for Internet Law and Policy . The New Scientist piece (behind a paywall, but extract available here) covers questions raised at GikII such as whether a robot can libel you and what the legal and societal effects of teleportation might be, and reports in detail ongoing research by Lachlan Urquhart, now a PhD candidate at Nottingham co-supervised from CILP, into legal regulation of drones, as well as asking if in the future lawyers will be replaced by computers. Thankfully, the article concludes this is unlikely to happen any time soon!

Meanwhile, the most recent GikII, in Bournemouth in September 2013,  failed to provide the much looked forward to sun,  but there was sea, sand and salty deep fried objects to die for, as well as the usual intellectual frolics. I finally gave  the paper "Slave to the Algo-Ryhthm"  I'd been mulling on for what seems like years on Google, algorithms, competition, libel  and data protection  (only a week after reading a piece by Ute Kohl in IJLIT which does it all much better. Go thou and read it. )

Other papers I really enjoyed this year included newbie Andy Phippen's rant, sorry, treatise on why wi fi filters in Starbucks are not really the best way to "think of the children";  Anna Ronkainen on whether its better to print human organs in animals, via stem cells or just using lego, sticky back plastic and a 3d printer (I paraphrase, but not much); Andelka Phillips (also a newbie) on DIY genetic testing by email  (the consumer protection issues! trading standards will not know what has hit it - my mind reeled), Heather Bradshaw-Martin  (ditto, and also Oxford)  on the ethics of driverless cars (how would a Kantian car deal with the trolley problem? a Hegelian car?) ;  Lachlan Urquhart on the persistence of memory in a synchronic society (featuring "spimes" a word whose time has surely come); Chris Marsden on telegraphs, TEMPORA, the decline of the British Empire, Russian cablecutters,  and something about silkworms and zemblanity (oh don't even ask). And it was marvellous to have Technollama back in the fold.

Despite strong competition from Andres however, the winner of the Daithi MacSithigh Memorial Prize for Most Amusing Powerpoint (come back Daithi all is forgiven!) was Paul Bernal for combining privacy, autonomy and Disney Princesses - congrats Paul!

In short it was a vintage GikII. Next year you should all come!

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