Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Yueh Hsuan Weng

Past information from March 2017 to December 2023

Assistant ProfessorHuman and Society

Mentor Information
Yasuhisa Hirata(Graduate School of Engineering)
Research Fields AI & Law, Legal Informatics, Social Robotics, Robot Ethics, Science and Technology Studies
Research Subjects
  • AI Ethics and Regulation
Academic Society Membership IEEE, IAAIL
Research Outline  

Intelligent robots will be the next revolutionary technology after PCs and the Internet. Hence, an emerging problem might be whether we should consider addressing new regulation impact on service robots. Under the current legal system, service robots are merely a property or “the second existence”; it is not enough to protect safety and moral risks in regards to human-robot co-existence. In other words, the new perspective of regulation shall be established under the premise of service robots as “the third existence” legal entity; robots are still the object of law, and they shall have a special legal status different from normal machines. However, the difficulty of implementing new regulations for service robots is something similar to the case of regulating steam powered cars in the 19th century. It’s a “Regulation of Unknown”. On one hand, such machines could cause deadly consequences to human beings without proper regulation. On the other hand, it is difficult for regulators to keep up with the progress of advanced technology. Therefore, there is a tendency for over-regulation, similar to the case of the steam powered cars in the past. To avoid repeating the Red Flag Laws in the era of intelligent robots, we can first consider “Deregulation” while referring the Tokku special zone.

This project will adopt an interdisciplinary approach via three probes from Robot Law, Legal Informatics and Social Robotics. Our main objective is to minimize risks from AI robots into an acceptable range. Currently I am working in close cooperation with IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. In addition, another objective of my research is to understand how the AI technology might enhance academic research and judicial practice of law.

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