Erica Kochi and UNICEF on Children’s Rights in the Era of AI

Erica Kochi, co-founder of UNICEF Innovation, gave a stellar keynote presentation on human rights and machine learning in a global context at this year’s Governance of Emerging Technologies & Science Conference.

Kochi and UNICEF see the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to impact the lives of children around the world, so they are launching a Children and AI project. This project aims to consider the impact of AI on children and prioritize the protection and enhancement of children’s rights. 

AI is likely to impact almost every industry imaginable, but Kochi, UNICEF, and its partners are concerned that the greatest impacts may be felt by children. AI may touch every aspect of their lives – from how they are conceived and born, to how they learn, to the public and private services made available to them, to the jobs they will be trained for. Children have specific needs that should not be left behind in the evolution of this technology.

The project’s first goal is to identify the opportunities and risks to children associated with AI, and then to build an ethical framework for the advancement of AI that upholds and protects children’s rights. Eventually, the project’s work will include concrete recommendations for parents, teachers, governments, and private actors on how to promote children’s rights in the era of AI.

If you’d like to stay up to date on or participate in the work UNICEF and its partners will be doing around children’s rights in the AI era, please fill out this form.

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Innovations in Health Technology at GETS 2018

The final session of the 2018 Governance of Emerging Technologies and Science Conference will be free and open to the public. Come learn about Innovations in Health Technology and earn 1.5 hours of CLE credit.

To attend, please RSVP here: Open Session – Innovations in Health Technology

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LSI Scholar Lucy Tournas Receives 2018 Strouse Prize

Outstanding law student and Center Scholar Lucy Tournas is the recipient of the 2018 Daniel Strouse Prize.

The prize, named after longtime Center Director and professor Daniel Strouse, highlights a student whose contributions to the Center, academic strength, and personal qualities most mirror Strouse. Dr. John Shufeldt – doctor, author, speaker, and 2005 graduate of ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law – created the Strouse prize to honor his favorite professor.

Tournas is a graduate of Pepperdine University, with a focus on biology and ethics, and spent 10 years working in corporate planning, product development, and marketing. After having twins at 23 weeks’ gestation and bringing home her daughter Abby, Tournas took a few years off to help her daughter thrive and to have a second child. The experience of having a special needs child re-ignited her interest in health technologies, emerging technology policy, and related regulatory schemes.

Tournas decided to attend ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and will graduate next week. Tournas received CALI awards in courses on biotechnology and health technologies and has earned distinction as a Carstens and Pedrick scholar. Along with her J.D., Tournas will graduate with a Certificate in Law, Science and Technology, with focuses in Genomics and Biotechnology, Data, Privacy and Security, and Health Law. She is particularly interested in artificial intelligence, CRISPR gene editing, brain-computer interface technology, and the role of privacy in emerging technology.

Tournas has worked as a research assistant for several Center programs and projects. With Faculty Director Gary Marchant, Tournas has worked on the Center’s workshop on anti-aging innovation (including writing about it for this blog). With professor and Faculty Fellow Diana Bowman, Tournas assisted in drafting an OECD report on gene editing and co-authored a book chapter on nanotechnology regulation. 

Following graduation, Tournas will work with professor Bowman and Faculty Fellow Andrew Maynard on gene doping in sports, a project funded by the Global Sports Institute. She will also assist professor Bowman with her work on smart cities and her study of mitochondrial donation, funded through a Carnegie fellowship.

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Faculty Fellow Diana Bowman Selected as a Carnegie Fellow

Faculty Fellow and professor Diana Bowman is one of the 31 recipients of a 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. Bowman, who was selected for the prestigious fellowship from roughly 300 finalists, proposed a study of the legal and ethical implications of a new reproductive technology called mitochondrial donation, a technology that allows for three-parent families.

Diana Bowman, Associate Professor of Law & Associate Dean for International Engagement (Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law), Associate Director for Students (School for the Future of Innovation in Society)

“I’m still in a state of shock,” said Bowman, speaking with ASU Now. “I see this award as a team honor, not an individual honor. I’ve had some of the most amazing mentors and teachers in my career, so I really felt as much about recognition of all their work and support rather than just my own.”

Each Andrew Carnegie Fellow receives up to $200,000 to devote to their research. Mitochondrial donation is a new frontier in reproductive technology. Faulty mitochondrial DNA is passed through the female line and can result in mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial donation allows doctors to remove the faulty DNA and replace it with healthy mitochondria from a female donor. This results in an embryo with DNA from three people.

Bowman’s study fits well with the Center’s work on emerging technology. “The fellowship is recognition of the ground-breaking legal, ethical and social analysis that Center for Law, Science & Innovation has been engaging with on emerging technologies for many years,” said Bowman. “It will also provide another opportunity for our Center scholars to engage in cutting edge research and contribute to the national conversation on an area of important medical advancement.”

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Learn from Experts and Scholars at LSI’s GETS Conference

REMINDER! Early Bird registration for the Sixth Annual Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies & Science (GETS) ends Monday, April 30!

The GETS Conference, May 16-18, includes presentations and discussions on the policy, social, and ethical aspects of emerging technologies. This year’s schedule features more than 50 speakers covering timely issues in artificial intelligence, privacy, healthcare, gene editing, blockchain, autonomous weapons systems, soft law, international governance and much more.

Keynote speakers include:

Larry Downes is co-author of Big Bang Disruption:  Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation (Portfolio 2014). His previous book, The Laws of Disruption:  Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Business and Life in the Digital Age explored the accident-prone intersection of law and innovation.  Downes is the author of the New York Times and Business Week bestseller, Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance, which was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the five most important books ever published on business and technology.  He writes regularly for ForbesHarvard Business Review, The Washington Post and CNET.  He serves as Project Director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy and a Senior Fellow with Accenture Research.

Professor Citron is an internationally recognized information privacy expert. Her book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace (Harvard University Press 2014) explored the phenomenon of cyber stalking and how law and companies can and should tackle online abuse consistent with our commitment to free speech. The editors of Cosmopolitan included her book in “20 Best Moments for Women in 2014.” Professor Citron has published more than 20 law review articles. Her opinion pieces have appeared in media outlets, such as The New York TimesThe AtlanticSlateTimeCNNThe Guardian, New Scientistars technica, and New York Daily News. In 2015, the United Kingdom’s Prospect Magazine named Professor Citron one of the “Top 50 World Thinkers;” the Daily Record named her one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marylanders.” Professor Citron is an Affiliate Scholar at the Stanford Center on Internet and Society, Affiliate Fellow at the Yale Information Society Project, and Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy, a privacy think tank. She is a technology contributor for Forbes.

Erica Kochi is the co-founder of UNICEF Innovation. Her team partners with the private sector to benefit children around the world. She focuses on technology growth areas – from artificial intelligence, and sensors and IoT devices, to mobility, skilling, and financial technologies that can deliver tangible results for children. The Office of Innovation has had recognized success in innovative design of international development solutions. Erica was named to the TIME 100 “World’s Most Influential People” List in 2013. Other examples of this work include RapidPRO – a messaging system that has reported 7 million births in Nigeria, provided antenatal care to pregnant women across Rwanda, and provide a direct feedback loop for 3 million young people across 18 countries to engage with their government and change policy in real time. Erica also serves as the Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Human Rights. The Council works to promote practical industry-wide solutions to human rights challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The current focus is on the imperatives and pathways for companies to best realize the positive potential of machine learning while building trust and preventing real and present risks to human rights.

Beth Simone Noveck directs the Governance Lab (GovLab) and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. She is a Professor in Technology, Culture, and Society at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. Her current research focuses on “people-led innovation,” namely the ability of communities and institutions to work together to solve problems more effectively and legitimately. She directs programs to promote effective public engagement in lawmaking (CrowdLaw), to help public institutions expert-source and implement innovative solutions to hard problems (Smarter Crowdsourcing) and to train civic leaders and civil servants in how to collaborate with their own communities (Civic Challenges). At NYU, Beth teaches the graduate-level Clinic on Governance Innovation: Technology for Social Change and Governing Cities. She also coaches “public entrepreneurs” online through the GovLab Academy, working with passionate individuals to take their public interest projects from idea to implementation and become agents of change. Beth served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative from 2009 to 2011. UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government.

Register now to take advantage of Early Bird pricing! We hope to see you there! 

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Marchant on the Limitations of Artificial Intelligence

Faculty Director Gary Marchant recently spoke on artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the Law + Innovation program organized by Navigant Consulting and the ABA Section of Litigation.

Marchant discussed the evolution of AI across industries and its impact on the legal profession. Marchant also sat down with Navigant’s Jim Vint to discuss the limitations of AI, including a lack of common sense and acting on incomplete or inaccurate data.

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Attorneys on Blockchain and the Practice of Law

LSI and the ASU Law Blockchain Interest Group are hosting a Blockchain Speaker Series this spring at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. The final speaker events, Legal Practitioners, will be held on Wednesday, April 18.

Local attorneys will discuss joys and challenges of representing clients in the blockchain industry and how blockchain technology will change the business and practice of law. This session will be moderated by Peter Krehbiel (Snell & Wilmer).


  • Scott Henderson (Founder – NewLAWu.s.)
  • Bryce Suzuki (Managing Partner – Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner)
  • Joshua Boehm (Associate – Perkins Coie)

Each event in LSI’s Blockchain Speaker Series is held at the Beus Center for Law and Society from 12:15 to 1:15pm. Lunch will be provided.

Registration is FREE. Space is limited. Register here to attend!

CLE is available on a “Give What You Want” basis.

Special thanks to our event sponsor:


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Marchant on Arizona’s Controversial New Frozen Embryo Law

Arizona is the first state to pass a law governing disputes over frozen embryos in divorce proceedings. Last week, Governor Doug Ducey signed SB 1393 into law. The law requires that, in a dispute over the use of frozen embryos, courts must award the embryos to the spouse “who intends to allow the … embryos to develop to birth,” or, where both spouses have that intent, the embryos must be placed with the spouse who provides the “best chance for the … embryos to develop to birth.”

“It’s an incredible intrusion into the bedroom and the private life of families,” said Faculty Director Gary Marchant, speaking to BuzzFeed News. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

The law was inspired by a decision out of Maricopa County last year. In that case, Ruby Torres and her then-fiance, John Terrell, decided to freeze seven embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF) before Torres underwent cancer treatment. By the time her cancer was in remission, Terrell had filed for divorce.

Torres intended to undergo IVF, but Terrell no longer wanted to have a biological child and was concerned about financial obligations that could be imposed by the state. The court sided with Terrell and ordered the embryos be donated to a third party. Torres has appealed that decision.

Other states have laws that former spouses are not legally considered parents of children born through IVF, unless they have consented to be. But no state before Arizona has directed the allocation of frozen embryos through legislation.

While there has been no previous legislation in the area, Marchant notes that it’s generally understood that embryos are not traditional property. “It’s not just a car or a dining table or a piece of furniture. It’s something that requires more respect than that and needs to be dealt with with sensitivity, regardless of your view on whether this is a person.”

That said, Arizona’s new law is certainly something new, and Marchant foresees similar bills being introduced in other states soon. “I’d bet on it.”

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Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference

The Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology, in partnership with LSI and Entrepreneurship + Innovation, will host its annual Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

The conference highlights the accomplishments of women and girls from diverse communities, educates women and girls of color, and encourages institutions and industries to recruit and retain women and girls of color in STEM fields. This year’s theme is Governance and Innovation in STEM.

When: October 4-6, 2018

Where: Beus Center for Law and Society | ASU Downtown Phoenix campus

For more information and to register visit,

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LSI’s End-of-Year Community Board Meeting and Reception!

The Center for Law, Science & Innovation (LSI) is hosting our end-of-year Community Board Meeting and Reception tomorrow. Anyone interested in engaging in LSI’s programs and projects is invited. We’d love to see you there!

When: Tuesday, 3/20 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm
Where: Beus Center for Law & Society | Map – Rm 544, 111 E. Taylor St., Phoenix AZ

Come for food, drinks, and community networking. We’ll also have four fascinating presentations and discussions on topics at the intersection of law, science, and technology. Topics include:

  • IP protections for Artificial Intelligence
  • Healthcare policy for “never event” medical errors
  • Global privacy and the GDPR
  • Blockchain
This is an open house style gathering – join us at any point for as much or as little as you like. RSVP to
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