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iRobot Meets EPA: The Rule of Law in the Age of Artificial Intelligence


March 28, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Marten Law PLLC
555 Montgomery Street, Suite 820

San Francisco, CA (and teleconference)


This event is free and open to the public but you must register.

  • Please REGISTER HERE by March 23. Contact mcmurrin@eli.org with questions.
  • Registration/light lunch begins 12 noon PDT. Speaker will begin promptly at 12:30 pm PDT.
  • Teleconference information will be emailed one business day prior to the event.
  • All times noted are Pacific Time. There is no CLE for this course.

NOTE: All registrants for ELI events need to have an ELI "account." When you click on the above Register Here link, you will be asked to log in.

  • ELI members and previous registrants have accounts. If you don't remember your password, please click on the "Request new password" tab.
  • Non-members who have previously not set up an ELI account may click on the "Create new account" tab, complete the process, and then return to this page to register. While creating this account does not confer membership, it will allow you to register for this and future events at any appropriate non-member rate that may be required.

An ELI and Marten Law Public Seminar

In 2004, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) ran their first autonomous vehicle challenge on a barren stretch of land in California and Nevada. That year, not a single car drove more than 8 miles into the rugged dessert terrain without crashing. The following year, five vehicles using improved Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine learning systems traveled 150 miles across the desert to complete the course and thereafter the success rate continued to climb. In 2016, a self-driving truck successfully drove 132 miles through Colorado to deliver 51,744 cans of Budweiser beer.

As many observers have pointed out: we have entered the age of Artificial Intelligence. AI systems are not just driving cars and trucks, but increasing the efficiency of energy-intensive buildings such as data centers, as well as predicting snow melt and available hydropower reserves in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And this is just the beginning. As AI advances and environmental decision-making becomes internalized into AI algorithms, the legal, ethical, and public policy communities are in a unique position to ensure positive environmental outcomes, but some tantalizing questions are being raised.

Who exactly watches the watchmen, especially when AI systems can learn without human input or intervention? Will EPA need a Division of Algorithmic Oversight? Will future AI programs incorporate ‘regulatory bots’ to ensure compliance with environmental law? Will law practices benefit from new capabilities to audit AI systems for environmental and energy performance? Will AI offer another strategy for private environmental governance?

Join ELI and Marten Law for this public seminar featuring Dave Rejeski, Director of the Technology, Innovation and the Environment Program at the Environmental Law Institute discussing the new ELI report: When Software Rules: The Rule of Law in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.



When Software Rules: Rule of Law in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (ELI, Feb. 2018, 36 pg.)
Listen to NPR WCAI Radio interview of David Rejeski (March 12, 2018)


When Software Rules: Rule of Law in the Age of Artificial Intellegence