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News Posted on February 3, 2017

UC Davis Law Review Celebrates 50th Anniversary with ‘Future-Proofing Law’ Symposium

The UC Davis Law Review celebrated the release of its 50th volume with a two-day symposium focusing on regulations in the next 50 years and beyond. The event, titled “Future-Proofing Law: From rDNA to Robots,” charged top scholars with identifying and proposing solutions to challenges surrounding the regulation of emerging technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, developments to the Internet, and synthetic biology.

With keynote speeches by Stanford Law Professor Mark Lemley and California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and a special lecture by Ben Wizner (ACLU attorney and legal advisor to Edward Snowden), audience members enjoyed talks from the most prestigious and skilled scholars in the field. Lemley spoke on the developments in virtual reality technology, while Justice Cuéllar cautioned the next generation to be mindful in choosing artificial intelligence technology. Wizner shed light on the high level of surveillance that takes place to combat low probabilities of terrorist activity. Attendees had the opportunity to ask Wizner about the president’s travel ban, as his ACLU colleagues were in the process of challenging it successfully.

In addition to top scholars from UC Davis and other leading American law schools, the line-up of panelists included speakers travelling from India, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Korea. Participants addressed the most pressing legal issues involving technology of the future. Panels included “The Future of the Internet,” “Regulating for the Future,” “Species of the Future,” “Discrimination and Algorithms,” and “Android Auteurs and Mechanical Healers,” among others.

Hundreds of people watched the event, both in person and via livestream. Web viewership included people from different parts of the world, including the Middle East, Europe, and Australia. The event hashtag #futureproofinglaw reached such high levels of activity that it was featured as one of Twitter’s popular “trending” hashtags. 

The symposium received funds from the Knight Foundation and law firm Fenwick & West. The symposium organizers included faculty advisor Professor Anupam Chander and student editors Rachel Kane and Shree Sharma.

Video of the symposium will be made available on the School of Law’s Symposia video page.