Poised to transform the world: Professors Florian Martin-Bariteau and Teresa Scassa publish new book on artificial intelligence and the law

Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Dr. Florian Martin-Bariteau and Dr. Teresa Scassa have published Artificial Intelligence and the Law in Canada (LexisNexis Canada), which captures the diversity of law and policy challenges facing Canada when it comes to artificial intelligence.

Bringing together some of the leading Canadian scholars in the field, the peer-reviewed collection offers insight into how existing laws might apply to artificial intelligence (AI), what gaps are present, and what issues law reform should address. Dedicated to Dr. Ian R. Kerr, the book opens with a foreword by Madam Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada who offers a heartfelt tribute to our missed colleague.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to transform the economy, the nature of work, entire fields of human endeavor such as medicine and engineering, and the nature of government and commercial decision-making. Many of these transformations are already underway, with the technology advancing more quickly than we seem equipped to regulate it. Yet although there has been relatively little AI-specific litigation or legislation in Canada—or elsewhere for that matter—the rapid advance of these technologies creates a need to interrogate how our existing legal frameworks can apply or how they may need to adapt to this fundamentally disruptive technology.

Professor Florian Martin-Bariteau

This book reflects upon the risks and the potential for AI technologies, providing valuable insight into the state of AI and the law in Canada. The book is divided into discrete topics discussing how AI interfaces or impacts traditional subject areas of law such as copyright law; patent and trade secrets; contract law; tort law; data protection law; competition law; administrative law; and health law. While promising important benefits, unchecked AI development raises significant challenges that may amplify existing injustices for individuals and the book explores the interface of AI with human rights; technology-facilitated violence and abuse; and “equality by design.” The book also considers the growing engagement of the legal profession—from lawyers to judges—with AI, with chapters discussing legal ethics; judicial decision-making; and legal analytics. This broad range of content highlights the transformative impacts of AI not just on legal principles, but on the very practice of law and justice. Finally, the collection offers insight into Canadian law in a global context, with chapters on international regulation, and an overview of the regulatory approaches in the European Union and the United States.

Professor Teresa Scassa

In addition to Florian Martin-Bariteau and Teresa Scassa, the collection includes contributions from Bita Amani, Wolfgang Alschner, Jane Bailey, Jacquelyn Burkell, Céline Castets-Renard, Ignacio N. Cofone, Carys J. Craig, Suzie Dunn, Colleen M. Flood, Michael Geist, Chandell Gosse, Gregory Hagen, Vivek Krishnamurthy, Marina Pavlović, Jennifer Quaid, Jennifer Raso, Catherine Régis, Amy Salyzyn, Valerie Steeves, and Kristen Thomasen.

The book is available now via LexisNexis, and the content will be available in open access in early 2022. The table of contents is available here.

The collection has been made possible thanks to the support received from the Scotiabank Fund for the AI + Society Initiative at the University of Ottawa, as well as the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy and the University Research Chair in Technology and Society.

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