Time out

The Bits, Bots & Biomarkers bLAWg is having a time-out during LSI‘s Fourth Annual Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies, May 24-26, 2016.

Check back in with us on Friday, May 27 for an all new TGIF Funny Fix.

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TGIF Funny Fix for May 20, 2016

CV Failures “This darn CV of Failures has received way more attention than my entire body of academic work.” — Johannes Haushofers

Happy Friday All!

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Worldwide Web Watch

WWWearthMay 18, 2016

The Wall Street Journal‘s Geoffrey Fowler asks his readers to consider what it would be like to receive opposing or different viewpoints from regular Facebook news feeds.  Currently, Facebook’s “News Feed” works with an algorithm that is able to personalize and suggest what are considered to be your likes and interests.  But what if you could immediately see the other side of things?  Think Republican versus Democratic opinions, pro-gun versus anti-gun arguments, pro-life versus pro-choice points of view, at the click of an icon– kind of like Thesaurus’ antonyms list. To read more about such a concept and to further broaden your news feed horizons, click here.

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Technology Triple Trivia

TTT3 Questions. 3 Hints. 3 Answers.

May 17, 2016

  1. What were students recently surprised by after taking an online course?


Answer: it was revealed to students taking a recent artificial intelligence course at Georgia Institute of Technology that Jill Watson, the class’ online teacher’s assistant, was a robot.  Watson, getting her brain power from IBM’s Watson analytics system, came across as a real human being, leaving students mostly intrigued, while some professionals argued there should have been full disclosure made to the students at the outset.  Read the details here.

2. What technology is helping some students achieve academic qualifications they may not deserve?


Answer: smartwatch technology is giving students the opportunity to retrieve information and answers to exam questions at the touch of a button.  To curtail this practice, some countries and institutions have issued, or are considering issuing, a complete ban on all watches as it can be difficult to distinguish traditional time-tellers from smartwatches, some of which come with additional bells & whistles that help students not get caught.  Read more here.

3. Smartphone password code or fingerprint, why is one recommended over the other?


Answer: biometrics technology could very well undermine one’s Fifth Amendment legal right against self-incrimination. The difference between a password code and a fingerprint identifier is that while individuals have a right not to reveal the contents of their minds, including things like password codes, fingerprints do not fall within the same category as they are, in essence, out in the public domain.  Therefore fending off a request to unlock a phone via fingerprint in an investigation may not be so easy. Read the story here.


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TGIF Funny Fix for May 13, 2016



Happy Friday All!

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LSI Faculty Grey and Marchant Publish in Michigan State Law Review


Center Faculty Fellow, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Professor, Betsy Grey and Center Faculty Director, Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law Regents’ Professor of Law, Gary Marchant recently published an article titled Biomarkers, Concussions, and the Duty of Care in the Michigan State Law Review.  The article’s Abstract is reprinted, below.


“The United States is currently facing a “concussion epidemic.” Concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, have increased in numerous settings, including transportation accidents, military combat, workplace injuries, domestic abuse, falls, and sports. The epidemic imposes huge costs on society. At the same time, our understanding of the injury remains limited. Currently, no proven way exists to physiologically detect concussion risk or damage. Determining whether a concussion has occurred and been resolved remains largely a clinical diagnosis, relying mostly on self-reported symptoms. Our knowledge of long-term implications of repetitive concussions is also limited. Science is racing to develop objective measures, or biomarkers, of concussive injury that will tell us who is more likely than not to be susceptible to harm and the extent of harm they may have already suffered. The availability of biomarkers will lead to a deeper understanding of changes to the brain that occur in a concussion and enable us to trace back earlier into what we think of as a diseased state.  These scientific developments will have enormous implications or questions of risk and loss distribution in society. In particular, they portend a major reexamination of fundamental tort issues of duty, breach, causation, and fault allocation. Applying the developing research to the legal landscape will shed light on duties, as well as causal issues, and may help substantiate latent injury claims. This Article examines those questions in the context of youth sports. The development of biomarkers will modify responsibilities for mitigating risks, screening, and monitoring players. It will affect the ability of the player to assume risks and will also implicate certain privacy interests. In general, the development of these biomarkers will shift responsibilities in the diagnosis and management of concussions, as well as long-term injuries, to those most directly involved in the player’s participation.”

Betsy J. Grey and Gary E. Marchant, Biomarkers, Concussions, and the Duty of Care, 2015 Mich. St. L. Rev. 1911 (2015).

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LSI Law Graduates Brunch


Graduating Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law students, their families, Center-affiliated faculty and staff gathered pre-Convocation on May 11, 2016, for a brunch celebrating the students’ success and contributions to the Center.  Law students are an integral part of the Center and add to its eminence as the nation’s most distinguished and comprehensive academic center of its kind.  Below are images captured at the brunch.


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Congratulations Victoria Cook!

CookVickie Cook (JD, Class of 2016)

Congratulations to Vickie Cook, this year’s winner of The Strouse Prize.  The Strouse Prize was created in memory of Daniel Strouse, a beloved faculty member at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law (SDOCL) whose wisdom, wit, and warmth enhanced the education of hundreds of law students. The Strouse Prize is given each year to the law graduate whose academic strengths, contributions to the SDOCL’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation, and personal qualities most closely mirror those of Strouse.  The Strouse Prize was presented to Cook at the SDOCL Convocation, May 11, 2016, by Dr. John Shufeldt (JD ’05), a member of the Center’s Executive Council and a close friend of the Strouse family.

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Worldwide Web Watch

WWWMay 11, 2016

A fight to preserve and enforce contractual terms has turned into a battle for the recognition of personhood for frozen embryos involved in “custody” disputes.  A potential law, being considered by the state of Missouri, would require judges to render decisions consistent with the best interests of the in vitro human embryo.  Writing for BuzzFeed, Azeen Ghorayshi examines Jasha McQueen’s legal fight for custody of her and her ex-husband’s frozen embryos, per the terms of their fertility clinic consent form.   ASU law professor and Center faculty director, Gary Marchant, is quoted in Ghorayshi’s article on the issue of consent forms and highlights that state courts are currently all over the map as to whether judges will enforce the terms of the contract or find ways to disregard the express terms of an agreement, resulting in inconsistent outcomes. Read the BuzzFeed article here.

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Technology Triple Trivia

Tech Trip Triv3 Questions. 3 Hints. 3 Answers.

May 10, 2016

  1. Who is about to come back to life after 500 years?


Answer: researchers are on a quest to uncover the secret behind Leonardo Da Vinci’s talents by sequencing his genome.  Called The Leonardo Project, it includes studying the microbiomes of Leo’s paintings, searching for his descendants and ancestors, fingerprint verification and bone evaluations — including those of an individual believed to be Da Vinci’s father. Da Vinci’s genome would allow for a greater understanding of his creative genius, along with insight into other traits and health conditions.  Read more here.

2. What just might be the magic bullet for treating fears, phobias and other anxieties?


Answer:  further to a previously published post (#3),  yet another article highlights that exposure to, or reliving, a fear along with popping a pill (typically prescribed to treat certain heart conditions) at just the right moment is all it takes to soar to heights previously feared.  Propranolol is safe, effective, inexpensive and simply requires an off-label prescription to “neutralize” otherwise life-limiting fears.  Read the details here.

3. What company is looking to become the Goliath of on-demand digital service industries?


Answer: it is trying to uber-take competitors, not just with its driving service but also other delivery-services.   Uber has now launched UberEverything and the name says it all.   The platform is there — most people already have the app on their smartphones, so adding features (like food delivery) is a snap for what is being dubbed the potentially fastest-growing company in the history of the Silicon Valley.  Time will tell whether its uber-diversification is a good ride.  Read more here.

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