We Robot DC: Information & Registration

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In Memoriam

We are deeply saddened to report that Ian Kerr, one of the founders of the We Robot conference, passed away on August 26th after a battle with cancer.

Ian founded the We Robot conference in 2012 with Michael Froomkin and Ryan Calo. The Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology at the University of Ottowa, Ian was one of the earliest and leading academics to explore the social and ethical implications surrounding the interactions of humans and machines. He and his brilliant mind will be sorely missed.

We will honor Ian during the DC salon dinner. In the meantime, Michael Froomkin has written a beautiful tribute here. If you didn’t know Ian, we hope you’ll take a moment to read about him and join us in celebrating his remarkable life.


Registration for WeRobot DC 2019 has now closed!

Please read a write-up about the event and view pictures here.

To learn more about future events, please join our mailing list.


Georgetown Law
600 New Jersey Ave NW
Gewirz Building, 12th Floor
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

6.00 p.m. Arrival

6.15 p.m. Welcome Remarks

Alexandra Givens, Georgetown Law

Ryan Calo, University of Washington School of Law

6.30 p.m. Paper Discussion: Why the Moral Machine is a Monster

Author: Abby Everett Jacques, MIT

Discussant: Julie Cohen, Georgetown Law

7.10 p.m. Paper Discussion: Reap What You Sow

Authors: Solon Barocas and Karen Levy, Cornell University (with Alexandra Mateescu, Data & Society, not presenting)

Discussant: Kristen Thomasen, University of Windsor

7.55 p.m. Presentation of the winners of the Georgetown Law Technology Review’s Inaugural National Tech Student Writing Competition

8.00 p.m. Paper Discussion: Taking Futures Seriously: Forecasting as a Method in Robotics Law & Policy

Author: Stephanie Ballard and Ryan Calo, University of Washington

Discussant: Anne L. Washington, NYU

8.40 p.m. Reception

9.30 p.m. Event Ends

*Attendance at the dinner is free of charge. We are deeply grateful to Microsoft for their financial support of WeRobot DC.


Conference Founders

About We Robot

We Robot is the most exciting interdisciplinary conference on the legal and policy questions relating to robots. Each year, it rotates between law schools across the United States and Canada.

The increasing sophistication of robots and their widespread deployment everywhere—from the home, to hospitals, to public spaces, and even to the battlefield—disrupts existing legal regimes and requires new thinking on policy issues. The We Robot conference drives conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots, and the people who design or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate.

We Robot was founded in 2012 by Ryan Calo, Michael Froomkin and Ian Kerr. Learn more about the conference at http://robots.law.miami.edu/.

We Robot 2020 will take place at the University of Ottowa from April 2-4, 2020.

About We Robot DC

We Robot DC seeks to bring leading papers from the We Robot Conference to a D.C. audience of policymakers, practitioners, academics, and others interested in the complex questions raised by new technologies.

Hosted by Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy and MC’d by We Robot co-founder Ryan Calo, the evening will feature three papers, placing the authors in conversation with discussants charged with bringing out core themes.

Dinner will be served during the paper presentations, and a reception will follow. The event will not be livestreamed. For questions, please contact TechInstitute@law.georgetown.edu.


Georgetown Law is located at 600 New Jersey Ave NW, about 6 minutes walk from Union Station.

When you arrive, please look for signs to the Gewirz Building, then take the elevator to the 12th Floor.

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We are deeply grateful to Microsoft for their financial support of WeRobot DC.

The additional sponsors who make We Robot possible can be seen at: https://robots.law.miami.edu/2019/sponsors/

Learn More

For more information about We Robot DC, contact TechInstitute@law.georgetown.edu.