Professor Kerr Renews Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology

Posted on Friday, November 3, 2017

Professor Ian Kerr has renewed his Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology, bringing $1.5 million to uOttawa to develop Robotics and AI Law and Policy.  His research will focus on the merger of humans and machines and the ethical, legal and social ramifications of this union.

Dr. Kerr was initially awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in 2001, advancing to a Tier 1 CRC in 2009. CRC funding has played a critical role in enabling him to produce and disseminate world-class research that has pioneered a new discipline of study: Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Law and Policy. His research on robots and automation, human enhancements, and privacy has generated three highly influential books and more than a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, as well as a dozen opinion editorials, reports and review articles that have shaped public policy and law reform nationally and internationally.

Dr. Kerr’s research program addresses society’s need to understand the risks, opportunities and related legal, ethical and policy questions raised by the adoption of robots and AI. Robotics and artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the world we experience and the lives that we lead. Canada and the world currently face a law and policy void concerning their governance, creating a serious risk that these disruptive technologies may harm rather than empower us. The aim of Dr. Kerr’s CRC is to develop sound law and policy frameworks to leverage these technologies for the betterment of our lives.

The Canada Research Chairs Program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Congratulations to Dr. Kerr on the impressive and well-earned achievement!

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