Savannah Law Review hosts a colloquium every September. The theme for the yearly colloquia is announced each fall—details for the event including participants, dates, times, and any associated call for papers will be announced shortly thereafter. Savannah Law Review’s Spring publication is based on written submissions from the colloquium participants.




Rise of the Automatons


You insist that there is something a machine cannot do. If you tell me precisely what it is a machine cannot do, then I can always make a machine which will do just that!” ~ John von Neumann


On September 15, 2017, Savannah Law Review will present Rise of the Automatons, a colloquium examining the legal implications of automation in society. Human Beings and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) will soon engage in a massive legal battle testing our resolve and pushing our economies, our security, our laws, and our dignity to the breaking point. Rise of the Automatons will explore the law’s response to a variety of topics, including cyber security threats, displaced workers, automation of legal industry jobs, and legal rights of robots.


In the 1950s, scientist John von Neumann warned of the imminence of technological Singularity—the idea that A.I. will improve itself into a Superintelligence that surpasses the capacity of collective human intelligence.


The year is 2034. Cybersecurity hacking is epidemic—infiltrating law firm data, the Alexa® in your bedroom, nannycam teddy bears, and pacemakers. As economists predicted, 47% of jobs are automated, including more than 100,000 legal jobs. Chatbots like ProTechMe collect protective order information and create digital documents for district attorneys. Regulators debate a global minimum income and taxing robots that replace workers. Joshua Browder’s DoNotPay bot continues to beat automated traffic tickets in New York City. Risk-assessment algorithms increasingly set sentence lengths for criminals across the United States.


Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that the Singularity will occur in 2045. The clock is ticking.

The Automatons are coming.


Keynote Address: Mr. Wendell Wallach, of The Hastings Center and The Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, will present the keynote address at Rise of the Automatons. Mr. Wallach has spoken, internationally, on the ethics of emerging technologies. Mr. Wallach’s most recent book, A Dangerous Master How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control (BASIC Books, 2015), builds on his life’s work as an ethicist focusing on societal, economic, and environmental implications of emerging technologies.


Please submit a 500-word abstract to with the subject line “Rise of the Automatons,” by July 17, 2017, for consideration. We welcome interdisciplinary submissions from students, professors, and practitioners. If selected, a completed paper will be due one month after Rise of the Automatons for spring publication.


The event will take place at Savannah Law School, 516 Drayton Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401, and will culminate in a Keynote Reception. We hope that you will join us for this exciting event, and we look forward to receiving your submissions. Georgia Continuing Legal Education credit will be available at cost.


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