The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to announce that CLTS Faculty member Céline Castets-Renard, has been awarded the University of Ottawa Research Chair on Accountable Artificial Intelligence in a Global World. Recognizing Professor Castets-Renard international voice, this new Chair strengthens the Centre’s global leadership in technology law, ethics and policy.
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) and its regulation are among governments’ priorities in Canada and across the globe. Legal and ethical issues regarding AI arise in all sectors, from medical services delivery to use in the industry. An expert on the regulation of AI, Professor Castets-Renard, CLTS Faculty member, and a Full Professor in the Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section, has been appointed to the University Research Chair on Responsible Artificial Intelligence in a Global World. Her five-year term started on January 1, 2020.
The research program proposed by Professor Castets-Renard aims to explore how legal research can play a key role in the advancement of knowledge related to the societal challenges of artificial intelligence. For example, the Chair wishes to open a research avenue that is still largely under-explored, taking into account the risks of AI on humanitarian actions, human rights, and international relations. Datasets are insufficient in developing countries to form relevant AI relevant to these countries. Beneficial and universal AI is just a myth, and the inequalities between countries and regions of the world are likely to broaden. The Chair also aims to minimize the risks of discrimination linked to AI systems by combining technical and legal solutions. As legislators and oversight authorities begin to understand the challenges of algorithmic discrimination, the Chair aims to guide them in the choice of liability criteria and methods of detecting bias. The originality and the innovative character of the Chair are due to two main factors: the interdisciplinarity mixing law and technique in the fight against algorithmic biases as well as the construction of a body of knowledge on the contributions and limits of access to AI in the world and its social consequences.
Professor Castets-Renard will conduct interdisciplinary research with results that should help to shape the application of the law in a globalized world. Her research has the potential to directly impact Canadians at a time when digital technology affects almost all areas of life. In addition to artificial intelligence, Professor Castets-Renard's work examines the impact of technologies on contracts and liability, intellectual property, electronic commerce, cybercrime and cybersecurity, personal information and privacy globally, including Europe, the US, and Canada.
It should be noted that Professor Céline Castets-Renard also holds a Research Chair on Law, Accountability and Social Trust in AI at ANITI–the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute funded by the French government as part of the PIA3 program. Involved in several networks in Europe and Canada, Professor Castets-Renard notably co-lead the “Action Humanitaires, Relations Internationales et Droits Humains” stream of the Observatoire international sur les enjeux sociétaux de l’IA et du numérique funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec–Société Culture.
Before joining the University of Ottawa in the summer of 2019, Professor Castets-Renard was a law professor at the Université Toulouse Capitole (France) from 2002 to 2019, and a Junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) between 2015 and 2020. She was the Assistant Director of the Institut de Recherche en Droit Européen, International et Comparé (IRDEIC), a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, from 2014 to 2019. She was also a Fulbright Visiting Professor and recipient of the Fulbright scholarship, at Fordham University Law School from 2017 to 2019, and a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Internet Society Project in 2018-2019.
Congratulations to Professor Castets-Renard for this important achievement!