Research Workshop

When: Third Friday of each month at Noon Central Time (sometimes fourth Friday; next workshop: Friday, April 19, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time) 

What: First 90 minutes: Two presentations of CS+Law works in progress or new papers with open Q&A. Last 30 minutes: Networking.

Where: Zoom

Who: CS+Law faculty, postdocs, PhD students, and other students (1) enrolled in or who have completed a graduate degree in CS or Law and (2) engage in CS+Law research intended for publication.

A Steering Committee of CS+Law faculty from Berkeley, Boston U., U. Chicago, Cornell, Georgetown, MIT, North Carolina Central, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn, Technion, and UCLA organizes the CS+Law Monthly Workshop. A different university serves as the chair for each monthly program and sets the agenda.

Why: The Steering Committee’s goals include building community, facilitating the exchange of ideas, and getting students involved. To accomplish this, we ask that participants commit to attending regularly.

Computer Science + Law is a rapidly growing area. It is increasingly common that a researcher in one of these fields must interact with the other discipline. For example, there is significant research in each field regarding the law and regulation of computation, the use of computation in legal systems and governments, and the representation of law and legal reasoning. There has been a significant increase in interdisciplinary research collaborations between researchers from CS and Law. Our goal is to create a forum for the exchange of ideas in a collegial environment that promotes building community, collaboration, and research that helps to further develop CS+Law as a field.

Workshop 25: Friday, April 19, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time 

Please join us for our next CS+Law Research Workshop online on Friday, April 19, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time (Chicago Time).

Workshop 25 organizer: Ohio State University (Bryan Choi)

Link to join on Zoom: Will be circulated to Google Group


20-minute presentation - Sarah Cen

10-minute Q&A

20-minute presentation - William H. Widen

10-minute Q&A

30-minute open Q&A about both presentations

30-minute networking session

Presentation 1:

The Promises and Challenges of AI Auditing: A Demonstration of Counterfactual Audits Using Black-Box Access

Presenter: Sarah Cen, Ph.D. Candidate, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT


Abstract: Auditing is the process of evaluating the properties of a system, often to determine whether it satisfies a predetermined set of criteria. Auditing is an essential ingredient of AI oversight and accountability. Without the ability to systematically and consistently test—or audit—for compliance, AI regulations are impossible to enforce. Beyond compliance testing, auditing also plays several important roles. Perhaps most fundamentally, it allows for the independent verification of developers’ claims that would otherwise go untested. It can also be used to certify whether an AI technology meets industry standards(e.g., privacy standards) that matter to downstream users (e.g., customers). In this way, auditing not only plays an important role in AI accountability, but also takes an important step toward developing trustworthy AI.

In this talk, we will discuss the history of auditing, the state of AI auditing, and open problems. In particular, we will start off with the "access question": What type of access to an AI system is needed to efficiently and effectively audit? We'll then discuss the benefits and limitations of black-box auditing. Finally, we'll demonstrate a class of audits that we call "counterfactual audits" and how they can be executed given only black-box access to an AI system.


Presentation 2:

Verification and Validation of AI-Enabled Vehicles in Theory and Practice: Challenges for Corporate Governance

Presenter: William H. Widen, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law


Abstract: This presentation will discuss challenges for corporate governance in light of the difficulties associated with verification and validation of an ADS which uses machine learning. In particular, the presentation discusses problems associated with the generic requirement of "safer than a human driver" which has started to appear in law and regulations in some jurisdictions. Even in the absence of a law or regulation, a corporation deploying ADS in Level 4 or 5 vehicles will need to confront its own standards for deployment. The presentation advances tentative recommendations of a way forward in the absence of conventional verification and validation procedures using repeatable tests.

Join us to get meeting information

Join our group to get the agenda and Zoom information for each meeting and engage in the CS+Law discussion.

Interested in presenting?

Submit a proposed topic to present. We strongly encourage the presentation of works in progress, although we will consider the presentation of more polished and published projects.

2023-24 Series Schedule

Tuesday, September 26, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: Northwestern)

Monday, October 23, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: UCLA)

Friday, November 17, 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: Boston University)

Friday, December 15, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: Penn)

Thursday, January 18, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: Georgetown)

Friday, February 23, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: Berkeley)

Friday, March 22, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: Cornell)

Friday, April 19, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: Ohio State)

Friday, May 17, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Central Time (Organizer: Tel Aviv + Hebrew Universities)

Steering Committee

Ran Canetti (Boston U.)

Bryan Choi (Ohio State)

Aloni Cohen (U. Chicago)

April Dawson (North Carolina Central)

Dazza Greenwood (MIT)

James Grimmelmann (Cornell Tech)

Jason Hartline (Northwestern)

Dan Linna (Northwestern)

Paul Ohm (Georgetown)

Pamela Samuelson (Berkeley)

Inbal Talgam-Cohen (Technion - Israel Institute of Technology)

John Villasenor (UCLA)

Rebecca Wexler (Berkeley)

Christopher Yoo (Penn)

Background - CS+Law Monthly Workshop

Northwestern Professors Jason Hartline and Dan Linna convened an initial meeting of 21 CS+Law faculty at various universities on August 17, 2021 to propose a series of monthly CS+Law research conferences. Hartline and Linna sought volunteers to sit on a steering committee. Hartline, Linna, and their Northwestern colleagues provide the platform and administrative support for the series.