Artificial Intelligence Forum

April 2, 2024 (In person, Washington, D.C.)

The inaugural Artificial Intelligence Forum, hosted by the Institute of Law, Technology & Innovation and Holland and Knight LLP, will bring together academics, policy market regulators, and thought leaders from around the world to discuss the promises and perils of artificial intelligence.

This half-day conference will contain three panels: the first will discuss what AI is, cover how it is being used, and evaluate its impact on different industries. The second panel will discuss the legal and regulatory dimensions of this new technology, and the third panel will look at the wider impact of AI on our social and democratic structures.

This conference marks the first Washington, D.C. event for the Institute of Law, Technology & Innovation, which previously hosted events in Tallahassee, Miami, and New York City.

Watch the recording 

Welcome & Opening Remarks

1:15-1:30 p.m.

Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Welcome
Dean and Donald J. Weidner Chair, Florida State University College of Law

Dean Erin O'Hara O'Connor is a noted scholar in several areas, including conflict of laws, arbitration, and the law market. Prior to joining Florida State in 2016, O'Hara O'Connor taught at Vanderbilt Law School, where she served as director of the Law and Human Behavior program from 2007 to 2010, associate dean for academic affairs from 2008 to 2010, and director of graduate studies for the Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics from 2011 to 2016.

Overview of AI

1:30-2:20 p.m.

This panel will lay the foundation for the forum by providing a broad overview of artificial intelligence, its current capabilities and limitations, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Shawn Bayern, Panelist
Larry & Joyce Beltz professor and associate dean for technology, Florida State University College of Law

Shawn Bayern is the Larry & Joyce Beltz professor and associate dean for technology at the College of Law, where he has taught since 2009. He writes and teaches on torts, contracts, and business law subjects and has a background in computer science. He is the author of "Autonomous Organizations" (Cambridge University Press 2021), which shows how lawyers can use modern LLCs to give legal personhood to AIs and other software. Bayern has experimented with AI language models for more than twenty years.

Ryan Abbott, Panelist
Professor of law and health sciences, University of Surrey School of Law; and adjunct assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine

Ryan Abbott, MD, JD, MTOM, is professor of law and health sciences at the University of Surrey School of Law and adjunct assistant professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has published widely on issues associated with law and technology, health law, and intellectual property in leading legal, medical, and scientific books and journals. Abbott’s research has been featured prominently in the media, including in The New York Times, Financial Times, Forbes, and VICE. He routinely gives keynote lectures and presents internationally in academic, government, and industry settings.

Rich Harper, Panelist
Partner, Baker Botts

Rich Harper, partner in charge of Baker Botts' New York office, advises and litigates on behalf of some of the world's most sophisticated technology, media, and entertainment companies. He leads litigation teams in business tort and breach of contract disputes, ranging from trade secret litigation to business defamation claims for clients such as PepsiCo and Formula 1 Racing. As co-chair of the firm’s artificial intelligence practice group, he helps clients navigate emerging AI-related litigation and regulations. He is teaching a seminar on artificial intelligence and the law at Florida State University College of Law during the 2024 spring semester.

Helen Toner, Panelist
Director of strategy and foundational research grants, Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Georgetown

Helen Toner is director of strategy and foundational research grants at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). She previously worked as a senior research analyst at Open Philanthropy, where she advised policymakers and grant makers on AI policy and strategy. Between working at Open Philanthropy and joining CSET, Toner lived in Beijing, studying the Chinese AI ecosystem as a research affiliate of Oxford University’s Center for the Governance of AI. Toner has written for Foreign Affairs and other outlets on the national security implications of AI and machine learning for China and the United States, she also has testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Toner holds an M.A. in security studies from Georgetown, as well as a B.S.c. in chemical engineering and a diploma in languages from the University of Melbourne.

Da’Morus A. Cohen, Moderator 
Partner, Holland & Knight

Da'Morus A. Cohen is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Miami office. Cohen is a co-chair of the firm's marketing, advertising and sweepstakes team, a member of the firm's litigation and dispute resolution practice group and consumer protection defense and compliance team. Cohen focuses his practice on a wide array of consumer protection and compliance matters, including governmental investigative and enforcement proceedings, regulatory compliance, and advertising and promotional marketing compliance, including social media and digital media.

Legal and Regulatory Issues of AI

2:30-3:20 p.m.

As breakthrough technology with the potential to touch virtually every aspect of our economy and society, AI has already drawn the attention of lawmakers and regulators. The legal and regulatory responses are still nascent, however, and are sure to remain an important priority for many lawmaking and regulatory bodies. This panel will foreground the legal and regulatory issues that have already emerged and will continue to develop.

David Vladeck, Panelist
A.B. Chettle chair in civil procedure, Georgetown Law Center

David Vladeck teaches civil procedure, federal courts, and a practicum on privacy and technology (taught jointly with MIT), and he directs the Civil Litigation Clinic, a student clinic that handles trial court litigation focused on public-interest cases. He also serves as faculty director of the Center on Privacy and Technology. Vladeck served as the director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection from 2009 to 2012, where he supervised the bureau’s 450 lawyers, investigators, paralegals, and support staff in carrying out the bureau’s work to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices. He is a senior fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States and an elected member of the American Law Institute. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Natural Resources Defense Council and on the Board of the National Consumers Law Center.

Michael Atleson, Panelist
Senior attorney, Federal Trade Commission

Michael Atleson is a senior staff attorney at the Federal Trade Commission. Since 2006, he has held several positions in its Bureau of Consumer Protection, including acting chief of staff, assistant director for regional operations, and acting assistant director for the Division of Consumer and Business Education. Currently in the Division of Advertising Practices, he focuses on AI and online reviews, engaging in enforcement, policy, regulatory, and educational work. He is the author of the Commission’s “Combatting Online Harms Through Innovation” report to Congress and the “AI and Your Business” blog post series. He has also worked for state agencies, a law firm, and a federal judge. 

Kwamina Williford, Panelist
Partner, Holland & Knight

Kwamina Williford, co-chair of Holland & Knight's consumer protection defense and compliance team, helps companies navigate complex regulations and enforcement regimes related to consumer engagement and interaction, including marketing and advertising, fair lending, reporting, decisions being made based on consumer credit, receiving payments from consumers, and the use of consumer information. She also advises companies on how to reduce their risk profile related to consumer protection concerns when looking to bring innovative products and technology to market. 

Keith Sonderling, Panelist
Commissioner, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Keith E. Sonderling was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, with a bipartisan vote, to be a commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2020. Until January of 2021, he served as the commission’s vice-chair. Prior to his confirmation to the EEOC, Commissioner Sonderling served as the acting and deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor. Since joining the EEOC, one of Commissioner Sonderling’s highest priorities is ensuring that artificial intelligence and workplace technologies are designed and deployed consistent with long-standing civil rights laws. Commissioner Sonderling also serves as a professional lecturer in the law at The George Washington University Law School, teaching employment discrimination. He has published numerous articles on the benefits and potential harms of using artificial intelligence-based technology in the workplace and speaks globally on these emerging issues. 

Anthony DiResta, Moderator
Partner, Holland & Knight

Anthony E. DiResta is co-chair of Holland & Knight's consumer protection defense and compliance team and an attorney in the firm's Washington, D.C., and Miami offices. DiResta is a former director of the FTC's Southeast regional office, where he supervised and participated as a trial lawyer in many of the enforcement, investigative, litigation, and outreach activities of the competition and consumer protection bureaus of the agency. A former federal prosecutor and governmental official, he is a nationally recognized leader in defending governmental law enforcement investigations and litigation.

Implications of AI

3:30-4:20 p.m.

Although AI’s transformative potential is often covered in the news, and although we have already encountered AI in our work and everyday lives, the full scope of this advanced technology’s implications might not be readily apparent. This panel will consider the impacts of AI that are already being felt, and what the future may hold as AI continues to affect businesses, governments, and individual citizens in the years to come.

Hodan Omaar, Panelist
Senior policy analyst, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Hodan Omaar is a senior analyst focusing on AI policy at ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation. Previously, she worked as a senior consultant on technology and risk management in London and as a crypto-economist in Berlin. She has an M.A. in economics and mathematics from the University of Edinburgh.

Michael Frank, Panelist
Senior fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Michael Frank is a senior fellow in the Wadhwani Center for AI and Advanced Technologies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is a political and economic analyst with a decade of experience in Asia. His current research focuses on the intersection of geopolitics and advanced technologies. Frank previously led the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Asia technology policy research, where he pioneered applications of machine learning to the firm's traditional strengths in macroeconomic and geopolitical research and analysis. Before the EIU, he worked in the government relations department at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He has also served in the leadership of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong as vice chair for financial services.

Kashmir Hill, Panelist
Author, "Your Face Belongs to US"; tech reporter, The New York Times

Kashmir Hill is a tech reporter at The New York Times and the author of "Your Face Belongs To US." She writes about the unexpected and sometimes ominous ways technology is changing our lives, particularly when it comes to our privacy. Hill joined The New York Times in 2019, after having worked at Gizmodo Media Group, Fusion, Forbes Magazine, and Above the Law. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker and The Washington Post. She has degrees from Duke University and New York University, where she studied journalism.

Nadia Banteka, Moderator
Gary & Sallyn Pajcic professor, Florida State University College of Law

Nadia Banteka joined the Florida State University College of Law faculty as the Gary & Sallyn Pajcic professor in 2023. Banteka teaches and writes on issues concerning constitutional criminal procedure, criminal law, law and technology, and international law. Banteka’s recent research has focused on the intersection of constitutional criminal procedure and criminal law with an emphasis on policing and police accountability, as well as on emerging legal issues of artificial intelligence personhood within the criminal legal system and beyond.


4:30-5:15 p.m.

The symposium will conclude with a keynote speech by Professor Anu Bradford, a leading scholar on the European Union’s regulatory power and a sought-after commentator on digital regulation, among other subjects. Bradford is the author of the recently published book "Digital Empires: The Global Battle to Regulate Technology" (Oxford University Press, 2023), a lauded work that addresses themes at the heart of all the preceding panels.

Aaron Voloj Dessauer, Introduction
Executive director of the Institute of Law, Technology & Innovation, Florida State University College of Law

Aaron Voloj Dessauer is the inaugural director of the Institute of Law, Technology & Innovation at Florida State University College of Law, where he teaches courses on information privacy, national security, and civil rights law. Previously, he worked as a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and as in-house counsel at a global tech start-up. He also served as a legal advisor to the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, as a lecturer at Yale Law School, and as an adjunct professor in law and philosophy at the University of Münster in Germany. The recipient of numerous academic awards and fellowships, Voloj Dessauer was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Harvard University, and the Center for Law and Philosophy at Yale University.

Anu Bradford, Keynote Speaker
Henry L. Moses professor of law and international organization, Columbia Law School; author, "Digital Empires in the Era of AI"

Anu Bradford is a leading scholar on the EU’s regulatory power and commentator on the European Union, global economy, and digital regulation. She is the author of "The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World" (2020) and "Digital Empires: The Global Battle to Regulate Technology" (Oxford University Press, 2023). Bradford is also an expert in international antitrust law. She spearheads the Comparative Competition Law Project, which has built a comprehensive global data set of antitrust laws and enforcement across time and jurisdictions. The project, a joint effort between Columbia Law School and the University of Chicago Law School, covers more than a century of regulation in over 100 countries and has been the basis for Bradford’s recent empirical research on the antitrust regimes used to regulate markets.