Dec 222016
 December 22, 2016

The Rethinking Regulation Program at KIE is hosting its Annual Symposium May 22. This year¹s conference is spearheaded by 2016-17 Lamb Regulatory Fellow Vishy Pingali, focusing on regulation and access to pharmaceuticals in the developing world. Discussion will center on the 2016 report of the UN Commission on Human Rights on Access to Medicines. Governments in developing economies often grapple with the absence of mature insurance markets, so patients often pay for medication out of pocket. Expensive, novel medicines are then out of reach for the majority of the population. Can these governments develop a regulatory regime that facilitates payment for these prescriptions?

Check back for full schedule of panels and speakers.

Monday, May 22
101 West Duke Building,
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room

Dec 052016
 December 5, 2016

Rethinking Regulation at the Kenan Institute for Ethics will host the workshop, “Ethics, Codes, and Learning: Building an adaptive policy framework for emerging Technology” May 5 in the Ahmadieh Family Conference Room in West Duke.

The event will work to map several possible strategies toward  adaptive regulatory approaches for emerging technologies and to discuss a specific case study on autonomous vehicles. Along with participation of experts, academics, policymakers and industry representatives, the workshop will feature a keynote speech by Professor Luciano Floridi, one of the world’s leading experts on ethics and information.

The workshop also marks the launch of a new research program on adaptive regulation for the Rethinking Regulation program.

See additional details below.

Workshop Description

Emerging technologies pose challenges for policymakers. The acceleration of the pace of innovation, amplified by the introduction of digital technologies and machine learning in a number of production and consumption processes, challenges the traditional paradigm of the regulatory process, which may be too slow and rigid to foresee or cope with rapid change.  Moreover, even when rules are fit for purpose, their implementation and enforcement can be complicated by the pervasive use of algorithms, which increasingly make decisions and operate with various levels of transparency, making it difficult for public authorities to predict and monitor compliance. New technologies such as autonomous vehicles, medical robots, distributed ledgers and algorithmic trading, call on policymakers to take a proactive, anticipatory role and modify their traditional tools to accompany the evolution of technology by creating a flexible and adaptive regulatory framework.

This process is uncovering a fascinating parallel: just as machines are increasingly being programmed to rapidly adapt to the surrounding environment, policies will also need to adapt to ongoing change. Can legal rules be “coded” like machines to become more adaptive? How can technology help the design and implementation of legal rules over time, e.g. by offering ways to supervise compliance? How can public policy goals such as the protection of health, safety, user rights, justice and non-discrimination be effectively incorporated in the functioning of legal rules? This workshop, which marks the launch of a new research program on adaptive regulation at Duke’s Rethinking Regulation @ Kenan Institute for Ethics, will explore these questions.  We hope to map several possible strategies toward  adaptive regulatory approaches for emerging technologies; and to discuss one specific case study, autonomous vehicles. The workshop will feature a keynote speech by Professor Luciano Floridi, one of the world’s leading experts on ethics and information; and the participation of experts, academics, policymakers and industry representatives.

Workshop Agenda

09.00   Registration and Coffee

09.30   Welcome, introduction, and setting the stage

This session will be introduced by Jonathan B. Wiener, Lori S. Bennear and Andrea Renda.  We will discuss key research questions for the workshop, including the alternative strategies and instrument choices for adaptive regulation of fast-changing emerging technologies.

10.00   Panel 1 – Ethics, technology and machine learning

This session will be moderated by Andrea Renda and will be dedicated to a discussion of the main ethical aspects of emerging technologies. In particular, the challenge of developing human-friendly, ethical algorithms and artificial intelligence will be explored, with examples from various fields, e.g. autonomous vehicles and medical robots. The prospect for the advancement of deep learning technologies also calls for a discussion on both agency and liability issues. For example, a recent report of the European Parliament called for the attribution of a separate legal personality to smart autonomous robots. Should US policymakers move in the same direction?

11.30   Keynote & Lunch Ethics and emerging technologies

Keynote presentation by Luciano Floridi, Oxford

13:15   Panel 2 – The Case of Autonomous Vehicles

This session will be moderated by Lori S. Bennear, and will focus on one specific technology, that of autonomous vehicles. How can policymakers facilitate the transition towards self-driving cars on the road? What adaptive regulation techniques can be used to balance innovation and efficiency in transportation with safety, security and the protection of users’ rights? How should the transition be managed, in particular when both self-driving and human-driven cars are co-existing on the road? How can decision algorithms, and technologies such as “geo-fencing” and modification in the road infrastructure, be used to avoid or mitigate ethical problems such as the “trolley problem”? How should the handoff problem be approached in semi-autonomous vehicles? How and when should self-driving cars share data? 

14.30    Break

14.45   Panel 3 – Emerging technology and policy learning

This session will be moderated by Jonathan B. Wiener, and will focus on policy learning. What are the alternative strategies for adaptive regulation?  What is “on the menu” of instrument choices, or which “tools are in the toolbox,” for designing more adaptive/built-to-learn regulatory systems?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?  If a machine can be coded to adapt to changing conditions, can public policies be “programmed” to do so as well? What combination of industry best practices, soft law, private regulation and public rules/standards would best tackle these challenges, allowing for both flexibility and predictability of legal rules? What changes would be needed in the regulatory process to accommodate the new policy mix? What would be the needs and opportunities posed by adaptive regulatory approaches for key public and private actors?  What would be the needs for key functions through the “adaptive policy cycle” – e.g. initial policy, ex ante impact assessment, oversight/review, data gathering and monitoring, ex post or ongoing evaluation, policy adjustment/revision,and iterative oversight/review – and who should perform each task?  What ethical issues and public/stakeholder involvement questions are important?

Ethics, Codes, and Learning: Building an adaptive policy framework for emerging Technology
May 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (Room 101
West Duke Building

Dec 052016
 December 5, 2016

ed balleisan-fraud book-coverEdward J. Balleisen, associate professor of history and public policy and vice provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, will give a talk about his latest book, “Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff,” at 7 p.m. May 5 at Durham’s Regulator Bookshop at 720 Ninth St.

In his book, Balleisen, a Kenan Institute for Ethics Senior Fellow who helped create Kenan’s Rethinking Regulation program, weaves stories of dishonesty and efforts to limit deceptive marketing going back to the early 19th century. He explores challenges of social trusts in a modern, capitalist economy and investigates what makes consumers and investors vulnerable to fraud.

The event is open to the public. For more information about his book, see this story.