Metaphorically Speaking: Robot Regulation and the Art of Analogy

Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

As part of its Law & Tech Brown Bag Series, the Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to present "Metaphorically Speaking: Robot Regulation and the Art of Analogy".

The event will take place on October 19th, 2016, at 11:30am in room FTX147B (entry of the Fauteux Building, 57 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa, ON).



Metaphors can help us understand new technologies and phenomena. Delving into the metaphors currently in use for drones and other robots, the presenters will examine some of the ethical, legal and policy issues that arise when we exclusively attach the “wrong” metaphor to a new technology. Prof. Thomasen will discuss the use of metaphors in judicial reasoning, and particularly, how the choice of metaphor can influence the application of legal doctrine to a new technology, like the drone. Dr. Millar will discuss the ethics of metaphors, with a specific focus on how metaphors can shape the public perception of autonomous weapon systems. 


Speakers will be:

  • Dr. Jason Millar
    Jason Millar is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. He is working with Dr. Ian Kerr researching ethical, legal and policy issues related to anthropomorphism, trust and responsibility in the context of robotics and artificial intelligence. He is also the Chief Ethics Analyst at the Open Roboethics initiative (, where he has researched and co-authored policy reports on autonomous vehicles and lethal autonomous weapons.
  • Prof. Kristen Thomasen
    Kristen Thomasen is a PhD student at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. Her SSHRC-funded doctoral dissertation, supervised by Dr. Ian Kerr, looks at the impact of commercial, state, and recreational drones on privacy in public spaces. She will start a position as Assistant Professor in Law, Robotics and Society at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law in January.


Open to everyone !
Bring your lunch.
Coffee, tea and cookies are included.


This event will be in english only.
The event will be recorded, and photos may be taken.

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