Zvi Meitar Institute for Legal Implications of Emerging Technologies
Who: Dov Greenbaum
Project Name: Zvi Meitar Institute for Legal Implications of Emerging Technologies
Links: center website, Facebook page
Media: pictures of students/webpage
Exhilarating things are happening at the Zvi Meitar Institute for Legal Implications of Emerging Technologies. Established in 2014 and named after its donor and founder, the program provides students and the community at large with the opportunity to explore the legal, ethical, and social challenges of new and emerging technologies. Meitar himself was a lawyer by trade and a great philanthropist, but also had a profound interest and passion for emerging technology and the societal dilemmas that they bring. It is this juxtaposition and integration of disciplines of legal policy, ethical values, and science that is at the heart of the Zvi Meitar Institute.
According to director Dr. Dov Greenbaum, there are four key elements of the program: events, students, outreach and academia. The institute has brought in influential lecturers: technology specialists from fields ranging from exoskeleton technology, human enhancement, and artificial intelligence, to executives from IBM and Amazon. Conferences and roundtables like these are open to the IDC community. industry representatives, academia, and the general public. Its upcoming event is titled “the Internet of Things,” which relates the interconnectivity of consumer devices and its the legal and socio-ethical consequences
The second element of the institute is the highly selective student honors program. Of the approximately 100 applicants, this year’s program has a total of 17 students, from across the IDC, albeit mostly law and business majors. The program aims to empower students and consists of 3 courses as well as a yearlong project in which students work with ‘clients’ from industry, academia and/or government as well as local and international mentors to investigate, analyze and eventually provide useful and relevant deliverables. Students are currently working on projects ranging from developing best practices for researchers analyzing the effect of genetics in sports, to the use of artificial intelligence in legal research to and working with the government regarding issues of upcoming transportation projects.
The program’s third factor is outreach. The Institute actively engages in providing interesting web content through blog posts, and maintains a strong social media presence through its Facebook and Twitter pages, in which they post regarding upcoming events, interesting happenings in the industry, and relevant research. The Institute also regularly publishes opinion pieces in newspapers as well as providing programming to educate high school students as well as retired community members regarding emerging technologies. Specifically, students from the Institute screen Hollywood blockbusters and provide presentations designed to stimulate dialogue amongst the audience regarding the science and the technology described in the films.. Previous movies shown include The Day After Tomorrow and Frankenstein. Together with the yearlong projects, such events provide the students with the opportunity to interact with large audiences and share their thoughts and run effective dialogues. These elements strive to empower the students and give them tools to excel in these domains.
The last element of the program is academia. Students and faculty publish papers in leading journals as present their research at various symposiums. Just recently one student travelled to Oxford to present her research on the intersection of the technology underlying brain machine implants and criminal and civil liability.
Together, these elements of the Zvi Meitar Emerging Technology Program excel at exciting and engaging students, the industry and the community about the intersection between legal policy and twenty-first century technology. We live in a world where things are only becoming increasingly complex, technologically, legally, and ethically, and it is of immense importance that we stop and take note.