Thursday, October 20, 2005

Future challenges for law

I wrote about future challenges for IT and there are quite a few people thinking about that - but I'm wondering: are there somewhere researchers in law doing the same? I'm really annoyed hearing about "law problems" that prevent robotics from beeing used. Just heard the chief scientist from VW talk about "Stanley" (the robot that won the grand challenge). He was asked how long it will take until Stanleys descendants will drive us to work. He couldn't give an estimation because of "law problems". Yes - of course - it is a difficult question who is responsible when a robot causes a accident - but well, a lot of technical challenges need to be solved as well and we need a solution anyway: why not start now? Its ridiculous that there are now cars (very close to the market) that can park by themselves - but are not allowed to, the drivers still needs to be in control of acceleration and the brake; because of "law problems" ...

And maybe we could use a good idea how to tax work performed by robots & computers? (not sure if we want that, though) And don't forget about the new intellectual property rights that can actually work in the digital age.

Actually I'm willing to admit that there is a good chance that there are researchers worrying about that - and its polititians that are just to concerned with terrorism and bird flu. At least In this case we can count on the industries buying the attention of politicians as soon as these things get financially more interesting ;-).

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