The Future of Algorithms: Navigating Legal, Social and Policy Challenges

Although much of the media attention surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) tends to focus on the advances in industry, major breakthroughs in the field often begin at the university level. Stanford is among the global leaders in this regard. All across campus, teams led by preeminent researchers are deploying projects that apply cutting-edge AI systems to complex and highly challenging social, technical and policy problems. Stanford has pioneered projects ranging from systems aimed at improving palliative care outcomes, to those aimed at improving the ethical decision-making of autonomous vehicles, to those that shape critical decisions in the criminal justice system. Yet the successful deployment of these projects in the real-world is deeply intertwined with questions of regulation and legal liability that push existing doctrinal boundaries—from IP to health regulation to due process and civil rights—to their limits.

This policy lab seeks to engage with some of the most challenging legal questions and opportunities presented by these emerging technologies. We will work closely with some of Stanford’s leading research teams to help them navigate the murky—oftentimes uncharted—legal, regulatory, ethical, and policy waters surrounding the deployment of novel AI applications. In doing so, we will provide extensive legal research support, collaboratively strategize and design deployments, help innovators evaluate and pilot new applications, and ultimately expand access to transformative technologies for populations in serious need.

We seek to build a collaborative team of diverse backgrounds and skill sets to learn from each other and enhance the overall capacity of the research. We encourage students who are interested in tech policy, entrepreneurship, AI, access to justice, and social impact to join us, including upper-division and graduate students from Law, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, MS&E, Public Policy, and the social sciences.

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