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The Tech Policy Lab is a unique, interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of Washington that aims to enhance technology policy through research, education, and thought leadership. The Tech Policy Lab brings together experts from the University’s School of Law, Information School, Computer Science & Engineering, and other units on campus.



Basic, pressing issues need to be addressed very soon to ensure that robots are developed that promote confidence among providers, patients, consumers, and investors. In this We Robot 2015 panel, titled Regulating healthcare robots, the focus is on patient and user safety, security, and privacy – specifically the effect of medical device regulation and data protection laws on robots in healthcare.

Image: Phil Roeder/flickr
Image: Phil Roeder/flickr

What are the challenges facing governance and regulation of emerging robotic technologies? Peter Asaro of the New School, Jason Millar of Queen’s University, Kristen Thomasen of the University of Ottawa, and David Post of the New America Foundation discuss the issues in this We Robot 2015 panel titled “Robot Governance”.

image: hjl/flickr
image: hjl/flickr

Anupam Chander’s paper, “Robots, the Internet of Things and the future of trade,” is the first effort to locate and analyze these complimentary technologies within an international trading framework. In this We Robot 2015 panel titled Robot Passports, Chander asks whether international law – that ultimately seeks to liberalize the exchange of both goods and services – can help stave off attempts to erect border barriers to this new type of trade.

As we increasingly create spaces where robotic technology interacts with humans, our tendency to project lifelike qualities onto robots raises questions around use and policy. In this We Robot 2015 panel titled “Who’s Johnny? (Anthropomorphizing Robots)”, Kate Darling explores the effects of anthropomorphic framing in the introduction of robotic technology. Moderated by Ken Goldberg.