Osgoode conference focuses on vision for future of AI governance in Canada


TORONTO, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 – The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) raises complex ethical and legal concerns that will be examined in “Bracing for Impact: The Artificial Intelligence Challenge,” a one-day international conference on Friday, Feb. 2, organized by IP Osgoode, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University’s intellectual property law and technology program.

The conference -- which will take place at the Law Society of Ontario, Donald Lamont Centre, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, from 8:45am to 4:45pm – will feature a group of internationally renowned AI experts who will discuss some of the fundamental questions that arise when machines start to think for themselves.

The risks and opportunities that AI presents for ethics and public policy, intellectual property and commercialization, cybersecurity, international risks, and social good are among the topics that conference panelists from government, industry and academia will address.

“The conference is designed to bridge the gap between different disciplines and fields and drive the conversation forward about how governments should prepare for and react to the impacts that AI will have on Canadian society,” said Professor Giuseppina D’Agostino, Founder & Director of IP Osgoode. “Canadian governments must move quickly in order to set out a vision for the future of AI that will position this country as a world leader and destination of choice for companies looking to invest in artificial intelligence and innovation.”

D'Agostino noted that the Bracing for Impact conference is aligned with the Canadian federal government’s commitment to fund “a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy for research and talent” that will cement the country’s position as a world leader in AI. The strategy, announced in the 2017 federal budget, will serve to attract and retain top academic talent in Canada, increase the number of post-graduate trainees and researchers studying artificial intelligence, and promote collaboration between Canada's main centres of expertise in Montreal, Toronto-Waterloo and Edmonton. The program will be administered through CIFAR, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. The Ontario government has also followed suit to invest in AI and position the province as a leader in this emerging space.

Osgoode experts Professor D’Agostino, Professor Carys Craig, Professor Emeritus Jean-Gabriel Castel, Visiting Professor David Lepofsky, Adjunct Professor Bob Tarantino and PhD candidates Aviv Gaon and Ian Stedman will be joined at the Bracing for Impact conference by Ian Kerr (U Ottawa), Ryan Calo (U Washington), Ronald Cohn, MD, (SickKids), Deirdre K. Mulligan (UC Berkeley), Maya Medeiros (Norton Rose Fulbright,LLP), Dov Greenbaum (IDC Herzliya), Carole Piovesan (McCarthy Tétrault LLP), Alexandra George (UNSW Sydney), Roy Keidar (Yigal Arnon & Co., former Israeli legal advisor for the National Security Council), Ann Cavoukian (Ryerson U), Victor Garcia (ABC Live Corporation), Matthew Castel (Orion Legal Group and Logos LP), Jutta Treviranus (OCAD U), Brandie M. Nonnecke (UC Berkeley) and Guy Seidman (IDC Herzliya).

The conference organizing committee acknowledges the sponsorship of conference partners, York Centre for Public Policy & Law and The Zvi Meitar Institute at IDC Herzliya, and conference supporters, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), McCarthy Tétrault LLP, VPRI Office at York University and The Lassonde School of Engineering. The conference is also funded by a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council Connection Grant.

For more information about “Bracing for Impact: The Artificial Intelligence Challenge” including the full agenda, visit the conference website.


About IP Osgoode

Conceptualized & founded in 2008 by Professor Giuseppina D’Agostino, IP Osgoode, the Intellectual Property (IP) Law and Technology Program at Osgoode Hall Law School, is an independent and authoritative voice which explores legal governance issues at the intersection of intellectual property and technology. IP Osgoode cultivates interdisciplinary, comparative and transnational research, collaboration, policy-thinking and practice on the basis of a tight connection between teaching, research and clinical action. IP Osgoode has put Osgoode and York University on the map in the global IP debate. We aim to influence the IP debate in Canada and internationally by educating our students and collaborating with the IP community in Canada and worldwide. Together, we have built an innovative program that is cutting-edge and completely unique to Osgoode.

About Osgoode Hall Law School

Osgoode Hall Law School of York University has a proud history of 129 years of leadership and innovation in legal education and legal scholarship. A total of about 900 students are enrolled in Osgoode’s three-year Juris Doctor (JD) Program as well as joint and combined programs. The school's Graduate Program in Law is also the largest in the country and one of the most highly regarded in North America. In addition, Osgoode Professional Development, which operates out of Osgoode’s facility in downtown Toronto, offers both degree and non-degree programming for Canadian and international lawyers, non-law professionals, firms and organizations. Osgoode has an internationally renowned faculty of 60 full-time professors, and more than 100 adjunct professors. Our respected community of more than 18,000 alumni are leaders in the legal profession and in many other fields in Canada and across the globe.

About York University

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contacts:
Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 416-736-5820, vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca

Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-736-2100 ext. 22097, sandramc@yorku.ca