Innovative aspects for the industrial world and R&D

The law clinic is based on the prospective study of legal cases involving artificial intelligence-based technologies in the testing phase, which are considered to pose legal problems, and which must be investigated upstream in order to anticipate the need to modify the applicable legal rules or to create new ones. All these transformations pose significant administrative and regulatory challenges. An organisation can easily be overwhelmed by increasingly complex regulatory provisions or by a more agile and innovative competitor. In this context, new digital technologies will raise new legal issues:

  • Civil liberties: protection of personal data
  • Privacy: intrusion of technology into private life: e.g. eavesdropping / recording / sharing / retrieving and exploiting data from connected objects (IoT), companion robots, autonomous vehicles, etc.
  • Personal dignity: disempowerment of people by machines, dependency, loss of decision-making authority
  • Freedom of expression, opinion and thought: automatic blocking/censorship mechanism implemented via machines, damage to the pluralism of opinions (role of GAFA as de facto monopolies), manipulation of opinions (Cambridge Analytica), risk of standardisation of thought
  • Liability: who is liable when damage is caused by new technologies: the machine, the manufacturer, the user or the designer?

Companies are key partners in the sense that they are sources of the emergence of new technological challenges. They enable universities to better identify issues and problems, and to propose operational solutions to these questions at the earliest possible stage. The participation of companies in the project therefore ensures constant synergies between their needs and the competencies developed in university study programmes and by the law clinic.

Each company appoints a contact person for the project. The partner companies all operate in the high technology field. By proposing concrete cases, they help to define the issues that are being studied in the context of moot courts. In turn, these companies can benefit from the analyses of the proposed cases, and thus consider incorporating any concerns that may have been identified into their product developments.

Business impacts

  • Development of expertise in corporate social responsibility
  • Anticipation of product development risks, or fundamental research by interested bodies (Scientific/Technical Committee; Risk Management/Development Department)
  • Transposition of the acquired benefits and expertise into the customer relationship
  • Anticipation of strategic, prospective and novel legal issues
  • Consolidation of positioning as a provider of proposals/advice for the public authorities
  • Raising of the company’s profile as a result of the media coverage of solutions derived from moot courts
  • Enhancement of the company’s image among students and litigants