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On January 19, 2017, SVLG attorney Stephen Wu will present a program at the Global Artificial Intelligence Conference entitled “Product Liability Issues in AI Systems.”  The talk will focus on product liability risks to companies providing AI-based products and services.  It will cover the sources of legal risk to manufacturers, and how manufacturers can manage those risks.  Many in the industry consider liability to be a chief obstacle to the widespread deployment of AI systems.  Nonetheless, it is possible to implement design practices and procedures to minimize and manage legal risk.

In preparation for the conference, Steve Wu addressed some questions posed by the conference organizers.  Some of the conference’s questions and Steve Wu’s answers are below.

Q.  Where are we now today in terms of the state of artificial intelligence, and where do you think we’ll go over the next five years?

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by Stephen Wu

Healthtech devices are increasingly common. People are wearing sensor devices that monitor fitness metrics. They can count steps and distance walked or run, calories burned, elevation changes, and heart rate. In the future, people may swallow sensor devices that can monitor or transmit video of the digestive system, may have sensor devices in their bloodstream monitoring the level of a medication, or may ingest smart pills that detect diseases. An organization can also embed devices in a patient, such as a catheter for an insulin pump, a pacemaker, or microchips placed under the skin.

With all of these devices, various security vulnerabilities may be present. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities to take control of them or otherwise tamper with them. Devices that communicate with systems outside the body entail the risk of interception or interruption. Moreover, once systems collect data from devices on or in the body, the systems are potential targets for attack.

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by Stephen Wu

This morning, on September 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued long-awaited guidance on automated vehicles (AV). DOT took a flexible approach of “guidance” and does not intend the document to be the last word on autonomous driving. Rather, it seeks to create a framework and process that will inform future DOT action. It’s interesting that DOT raises the possibility of pre-market approval, and an appendix uses FAA authority as an analog. Finally, DOT expressly raises the ethical issues involved in AV programming, although it does not seek to take a definitive position on them.

The DOT guidance document is linked here:

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Silicon Valley Law Group is pleased to announce the publication of Attorney Stephen S. Wu’s new book: “A Guide to HIPAA Security and the Law – Second Edition.” The American Bar Association published his book last month. The book provides detailed information about healthcare information technology security legal requirements and how covered entities and business associates can comply with them.

Also, please join us for a special Meetup presentation, in which Steve Wu will share his thoughts on an important topic covered in one of his book’s chapters: the impact of emerging technologies on HIPAA security compliance. The program is on September 28, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at SVLG’s offices. A dial-in is available for those unable to attend in person.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued the HIPAA Security Rule in 2003 to impose information technology security requirements on HIPAA covered entities:  healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses.  Later legislation and regulation also imposed HIPAA security requirements on various “business associates” of these covered entities.  Despite some changes in coverage and the breach notification rule, the core HIPAA security requirements have remained unchanged since 2003.  Nonetheless, technology trends such as cloud computing, social media, and mobile computing required applying the existing rules to new technologies.  Moreover, we are now facing dramatic and sweeping changes with augmented and virtual reality systems, Big Data, 3D printing, healthtech, the Internet of Things, robots, and artificial intelligence systems.
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by David Duperrault

On December 12, 2015, delegations from 195 nations reached consensus on a historic climate accord. The Paris Agreement was the culmination of a process that began in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was created.  The three central objectives of the Paris Agreement are:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;