Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society (DRAILS)
The DRAILS Research Group or Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is a joint initiative of the CRIDES and CPDR at UCLouvain and of researchers at USL-Bruxelles which aims at bringing together scholars and experts in the social sciences and the humanities in order to investigate emerging challenges raised by digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their respective fields of research.
DRAILS works as a multidisciplinary platform of exchanges between its members. The diversity of their fields of expertise (law, philosophy, ethics, economy, sociology, etc.) should allow for a comprehensive apprehension of the different dimensions of digitalization as a societal phenomenon.
Areas under current investigations cover issues raised by platforms (content moderation, deepfakes, fake news, rating systems), Artificial Intelligence (legal status, transparency and explainability, liability), Data (access, portability, profiling), cybersecurity and e-Governance.
The presentations and open discussions on various topics take place at regular workshops and seminars, or at conferences more broadly open to the public and during which DRAILS members present either their research results or novel developments occurring in their fields of expertise.
While its main research focus lies within the fields of social sciences and the humanities, DRAILS is also open to collaborating with experts in computer science, engineering and other scholars in the Science and Technology Sector for a better chance at understanding the digital transformation of society.
Nathalie A. Smuha – Algorithmic regulation in between the rule of law and the rule by law
On the 08th of May, we will receive Nathalie A. Smuha for a Drails workshop.
To participate, please register here.
Public authorities are increasingly turning to algorithmic systems to apply and enforce the law, which is often denoted as ‘algorithmic regulation’. Their adoption of algorithmic regulation tends to be motivated by the desire to improve public services and to better fulfil citizens’ rights, thus seemingly contributing to the rule of law. However, in practice, many use cases have demonstrated how reliance on algorithmic systems can undermine the law’s protective power and instead lead to a rule by law. In this presentation, I seek to make sense of this apparent contradiction. By analysing a concrete example of algorithmic regulation, I examine how the algorithmisation of the law can alter its very nature and consider how this alteration risks eroding the protection that the law affords.
About Nathalie A. Smuha:
Dr Nathalie Smuha is a legal scholar and philosopher at the KU Leuven Faculty of Law, where she examines legal and ethical questions around artificial intelligence and other digital technologies. Her research focuses particularly on the impact of AI on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. She is the academic coordinator of the KU Leuven Summer School on the Law, Ethics and Policy of AI, and a member of the Leuven.AI Institute and the Digital Society Institute. Her work has been the recipient of several awards, and she has been a visiting fellow at the University of Birmingham Law School and at the University of Chicago Law School. Besides her academic activities, Nathalie Smuha regularly advises governments and international organizations on AI policy. She coordinated the work of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI and is a scientific expert in the Council of Europe’s (Ad Hoc) Committee on AI. She is also a member of the UNESCO Expert Group on AI and the Futures of Learning, and a member of the OECD’s Network of Experts on AI. Nathalie Smuha is an attorney at the Brussels and the New York Bar, and works as of counsel at the law firm.