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Automation is efficient: data is gathered, processed and used to do things people cannot. Yet we have lived in a world run by and for humans, in which human sovereignty has seemed to be more important than efficiency of performance. Sovereignty and efficiency are beginning to show strong potential for conflict. For the law, this presents questions at every stage: the nature and protection of data, the manner in which it is communicated and stored, the models and algorithms according to which it is processed, the authority it is given to act, and the people whose labor it replaces. Conceptually, this evolution presents legal academics with questions ranging from the nature of society (human centered or efficiency centered?) and data to the shape of technical rules for the construction of algorithms and the supervision of automated execution.

The CUHK LAW’s Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development (CFRED) created Machine Lawyering in 2017 to offer an umbrella under which all of the above issues can be explored. Participants in the first Machine Lawyering conference, January 2020, presented papers on issues from the consciousness of artificial intelligence to the ability of fintech applications to manipulate market prices and the use of automation in the practice of law. It created a very effective cross-pollination of ideas for all participants. Machine Lawyering’s second conference in 2021 will be equally broad. 

The conference will be held online via Zoom. We hope you will join us, and look forward to seeing you on 14 – 16 January.