Home > Correspondents > Tom Dent-Spargo

Tom Dent-Spargo




Articles

WeRobot 2016 Discussion

Unpredictability of Driverless Cars

01 May 2016 at 19:02 BST

Driverless cars inherently lack predictability to those who will be using the same physical space - other human drivers and pedestrians. Human drivers demonstrate predictable movements due to a wide range of social cues that is not yet wired in to fully or semi-autonomous vehicles.


WeRobot 2016 Discussion

Robots in US Law

01 May 2016 at 18:53 BST

The 2016 WeRobot Conference, hosted by the University of Miami School of Law in early April, raised some important questions. The conference was a great success, striking up a dialogue about the important issues in the world of robotics – from the status of Robots in US law to the unpredictability of driverless cars and whether robots should be allowed free speech.


WeRobot 2016 Discussion

Do Robots need their own Regulatory body?

01 May 2016 at 19:04 BST

Some different options for the governance of robotics are discussed in the WeRobot 2016 Conference.


WeRobot 2016 Discussion

Robotic police programming and Race

01 May 2016 at 20:03 BST

Will #BlackLivesMatter to RoboCop?


WeRobot 2016 Discussion

Artificial Intelligence and Free Speech

01 May 2016 at 20:04 BST

One of the key discussions of WeRobot 2016 asks whether the First Amendment in the US could or should protect AI speech and even if a human participant is still a necessary component of free speech.


Anti-UAV Defence System

Anti-Drone Collaboration

06 Jul 2016 at 13:52 BST

The flipside of the rapidly increasing Drone market is another market devoted to thwarting them.


CATUAV Paves the Way

Blue Sky Drones - A View From Catalonia

06 Jul 2016 at 15:01 BST

Robotics Law Journal interviews Marc Beltran an aerospace engineer who works for CATUAV a drone manufacturer based outside Barcelona.


No drones at Euro 2016

Euro 2016 No Fly Zones

08 Jul 2016 at 11:40 BST

In response to a potential threat from drones, this year's European football championships, held in France, have had anti-drone technology deployed as part of its security measures.


Countering the cyber threat

The Legal Implications of Cyberwar

11 Jul 2016 at 15:51 BST

James Connelly, Professor of Political Theory at University of Hull and Director of the Institute of Applied Ethics, has just presented a paper at the 2016 Euro-ISME conference and is the principal investigator of the ESRC funded project, ‘The Common Good: Ethics, Rights and Cyber Security’. He discusses some of the questions surrounding the ethics of cyber counter-terrorism and the implications for legal systems with the Robotics Law Journal.


The value of drones

Drones on the Up

11 Jul 2016 at 16:17 BST

A new report from PWC looks at the potential future value of the drone market.


Robotics Law Journal at ReWorkBio

Bio-Inspired Robotics Meetup

21 Jul 2016 at 15:23 BST

Robotics Law Journal attended the Bio-Inspired Robotics Meetup hosted by ReWork in July. Three speakers gave some fascinating insights into very different fields, promising some great advancements for the future of robotics.


UAVs realising their worth in two different sector

Soaring Drone Potential

28 Jul 2016 at 14:48 BST

Last month, the Robotics Law Journal examined the value of the drone market, estimated by PricewaterhouseCoopers to be $125 billion, in their report, ‘Clarity From Above’. Two companies have just announced advances in their drone capabilities that demonstrate the current and future value of drones, as outlined in the report.


Uber and Volvo team up

Self-driving Taxis

08 Sep 2016 at 09:30 BST

Uber and Volvo are breaking ground by creating a new system of self-driving taxis available for users. The first signs of commercialised autonomous cars are here.


Importance of emotion in communications

Irresponsible AI

19 Sep 2016 at 11:30 BST

Recent experiments in AI have demonstrated how important emotions are to intelligence as well as highlighting how far there is to go. Talking with the head of Emoshape, a company that is creating Emotional Processing Units and examining attempts at implementing AI, Robotics Law Journal investigates.


Ethics and rights in cyber security

The Common Good

28 Oct 2016 at 17:33 BST

The Robotics Law Journal attended the Cybersecurity Ethics conference at the University of Hull in October and reports some key findings.


Shortage of ICT professionals in Europe by 2020

European Parliament Calls on Commission for a Robotics Framework

11 Nov 2016 at 11:30 BST

At the end of May this year, the European Parliament issued a paper, calling on the Commission to update the regulatory framework surrounding the area of robotics, with a request to consider that some forms of autonomous robots should be granted the status of “electric persons with specific rights and obligations”.


Human inventors to compete with creative robots

AI As Inventors

27 Feb 2017 at 11:30 BST

Ryan Abbott, Professor of Law and Health Sciences, University of Surrey School of Law, has proposed that AI and robots need to be treated as individuals with inventorship, especially as it relates to liability.


Reduction of headcount could save £2.6 billion

Public Sector Workforce and Reform

19 Apr 2017 at 12:12 BST

Independent UK think tank Reform has released a report called “Work in progress” examining the public sector, the issues surrounding its efficiency, and what can be done to reform and improve it for the future.


Engaging the public on drone safety

Standardising Drone Use

08 Jan 2018 at 10:56 BST

On 1 August, the Public Safety Aviation Accreditation Commission (PSAAC) released the first draft of standards for the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) by public safety agencies, in collaboration with the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA).


In 2017 at least 59 people's lives saved by drones

DJI's Safety Training

17 Jan 2018 at 11:43 BST

One of the globe’s foremost drone manufacturers, DJI, has set up a training programme for the development of civilian drones for public safety at the Technology Base in Twente, Netherlands. In preparation of the programme, DJI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Space53, the Enschede-based public-private partnership for developing unmanned systems.


The rights and responsibilities of empathy

Empathy Training

30 Jan 2018 at 11:43 BST

“I taught an AI to empathise” is not a phrase one uses every day, but that’s exactly what the Deep Empathy program offers. A collaboration led by Scalable Cooperation at MIT Media Lab, and influenced by UNICEF Innovation, it seeks to pursue a scalable way to increase empathy.


Further CCW talks will commence this year

Killer Robots Taking Over?

02 Mar 2018 at 11:00 BST

The United Nations’ Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) met for the first time in November 2017, after their summer meeting was cancelled. They met for five days to open discussions on weapons systems that have the ability to identify and destroy targets entirely without human control. Such Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) are said to be almost ready for deployment, driving the need to legislate their use and set international standards.


AI matching a human's prowess in case prediction

Lawyer Versus Robot

05 Mar 2018 at 11:00 BST

On Friday 27 October, the results of CaseCrunch’s week-long competition to directly pit trained lawyers against CaseCrunch’s Artificial Intelligence were announced at a reception held at Kennedys law firm. The challenge: to predict the outcome of PPI mis-selling complaints.


AI could add £630bn to UK economy by 2035

Growing UK AI Industry

07 Mar 2018 at 11:00 BST

The report “Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK” by Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti has come out of an industry-led review of how both industry and the government can create the conditions for AI to develop and innovate in the UK, as part of a broader Digital Strategy. It summarises the current level of AI activity in the UK, identifies the challenges to increasing that level of activity, and makes several recommendations to address those challenges.


Creative AI challenges notions of authorship

Passing the Musical Turing Test

09 Mar 2018 at 11:49 BST

A five-track black metal album, titled, “Coditany of Timeness” has just been produced. The difference with this new piece of music is that it was created by an artificial intelligence.


Technology & automation shaping the workforce

The Shape of the Future Global Workforce

12 Mar 2018 at 09:06 BST

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have released a report titled “Workforce of the Future” based on research dating back to 2007 examining trends in the workplace and insights into what the future workforce will look like.


Promotion of safety as airways get more crowded

FAA Report on Safety

21 Mar 2018 at 11:02 BST

Last year was one of the safest on record, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced at a major industry safety event. Better regulation has enhanced health and safety with greater collaboration between the FAA and the marketplace making a difference.


AI must understand cultural norms to be effective

Ethical Robot Design v.2

26 Mar 2018 at 10:58 BST

Last year, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) released a report called Ethically Aligned Design, written with the purpose of advancing the discussion of how artificial intelligence and autonomous systems (AI/AS) can be aligned to moral values and ethical considerations that prioritise human wellbeing. The organisation opened it up to commentary and feedback from the public.


Global ramifications of computing power

Breaking the Enigma

28 Mar 2018 at 11:00 BST

On 1 December 2017, AI experts Enigma Pattern broke the infamous Enigma code in just thirteen minutes in a live demonstration. In an event designed to demonstrate the endless potential of AI, from diagnosing medical conditions to rendering judgements on whether someone should get a loan and cracking history’s trickiest code, Enigma Pattern also showcased the rising power of cloud computing and data centres.


Drones become an increasingly competitive business

Drone Industry Focus: GoPro vs. DJI

05 Apr 2018 at 11:00 BST

In what is becoming a hyper-competitive industry, the fortunes of premier drone manufacturers DJI and GoPro are in stark contrast. American company GoPro has announced its plans to exit the business citing competitiveness of the sector as well as increasing regulation. Meanwhile, despite recent concerns over security, Chinese company DJI has confirmed its place as a leader in the market with its latest product.


Data sharing key to increasing efficiency

Reforming the NHS with AI

11 Apr 2018 at 11:47 BST

Following on from its examination of the effects of technology in the public sector last year, independent think tank Reform has released a report called Thinking on its own: AI in the NHS. It highlights the areas in which AI is currently deployed in the NHS, what its future uses can be, and what legal challenges need to be overcome to reach that destination.


Animals can't own copyright, what about AI?

Legal Roadblock for Non-Humans Gaining Copyright Ownership

01 May 2018 at 12:02 BST

In 2015, the issue of a non-human claiming copyright ownership erupted across the world when PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) launched a lawsuit against a photographer for the rights to a “monkey selfie”. Now, a US court has ruled that only humans can own copyright.


Focus on drone deliveries

Drone Integration Partners Announced

11 May 2018 at 13:18 BST

Last year, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a new programme to give regulation of the drone industry a boost. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has announced the 10 state, local, and tribal governments that will participate.


Collaboration between Japanese & Korean companies

Korea's First UTM System

11 Jun 2018 at 09:41 BST

Japanese commercial drone service company Terra Drone has commercialised an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system for the first time in Korea.


Law enforcement applications of driverless tech

Ford's Autonomous Police Patent

14 Jun 2018 at 09:59 BST

Ford has submitted a patent application to develop autonomous police cars. It is a patent that has not yet been granted but demonstrates Ford’s intentions in how to break into the autonomous vehicle market.


Many companies remain unaware of how to comply

Gearing Up For GDPR

20 Jun 2018 at 10:32 BST

On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) hits the European Union (EU) in full, replacing the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. All member nations must have transferred it into their own national law by 6 May 2018. It will unify all the data protection and privacy laws across all member countries. In the run up to it taking full effect, companies are working out how best to comply.


Mobile data extraction processes applied to UAVs

Drone Forensics: Interview With David Kovar

25 Jun 2018 at 10:53 BST

Mobile data forensics company MSAB has announced a new partnership with Kovar and Associates to expand the drone forensics capabilities offered by MSAB. David Kovar, the president and founder of Kovar & Associates, is a leading expert on drone forensics and he will serve as a subject matter expert and consultant to MSAB.


Determining fault still a big job with AV crashes

Driverless Insurance

27 Jun 2018 at 11:17 BST

While the debate rages on over how to test and integrate autonomous vehicles and whether they will truly be safer, the insurance sector is preparing for the creation of a new and changed insurance market.


Furthering drone applications in urban areas

Flying High

03 Jul 2018 at 11:04 BST

Nesta has designed a programme called Flying High, in conjunction with Innovate UK, to develop plans to bring drones to five cities across the UK. Bradford, London, Preston, Southampton, and the West Midlands region (covering Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton) will be taking up the challenge to develop a path for the safe and effective integration of drones.


AI powers the world's most extensive CCTV network

China: The AI Nation

09 Jul 2018 at 10:53 BST

Artificial intelligence (AI) is powering China in its technological push. A law school in Peking University has opened a new research centre to examine how AI can impact China’s legal system. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have received a boost to their powers with AI-powered solutions for surveillance and monitoring. However, the recently enacted cybersecurity law raises some concerns beyond its stated jurisdiction.


Custom drones made for construction inspections

Skycatch and DJI's Big Deal

10 Jul 2018 at 10:13 BST

DJI, the world leader in consumer drone technology demonstrated its continued partnership with commercial drone data company Skycatch with the announcement of the largest commercial drone order in history.


Test expected to resume elsewhere in the US

Uber Banned in Arizona

11 Jul 2018 at 12:39 BST

In the highest profile incident involving an autonomous vehicle, one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles collided with and killed a pedestrian crossing the road in Arizona, even though the car had a safety engineer riding behind the wheel.


LAANC and the UASIPP drive expansion

FAA's Positive Forecast

16 Jul 2018 at 11:11 BST

According to the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Aerospace Forecast Fiscal Report 2018-2038, air travel is in a strong place and will continue to grow over the next two decades. The report examines all of American aviation, including the emerging area of unmanned aviation, trends around the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) sector and is targeted at both hobbyists and commercial operators.


Ride-hailing predicted to overtake car ownership

California to Legalise Robot Taxis

18 Jul 2018 at 11:21 BST

The California Public Utilities Commission has put out a proposal authorising two pilot test programmes to legalise autonomous vehicle passenger services.


Minimise unconscious biases through diverse voices

Instilling Ethics into AI

26 Jul 2018 at 11:00 BST

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming ever-present, integrating with everyday technologies as well as assisting the operations of huge global businesses. In the future it promises to revolutionise areas such as healthcare, education, and transport. In becoming so widespread, there emerges a need to ensure that AI behaves in an ethical manner to minimise harm and maximise benefits.


Ownership of data has been freely relinquished

Controlling Your Own Data

27 Jul 2018 at 10:12 BST

The issue of ownership of personal data has come under close scrutiny recently, as well as how much power companies have in this area. Until recently, this issue may have gone under the radar for many, with the concept of “data ownership” perhaps appearing to be too abstract to be taken seriously.


Controllable test environments key to research

Trust in Driverless Cars

30 Jul 2018 at 10:07 BST

The Journal of Engineering and Technology Management has conducted research into attitudes of driverless cars in a closed environment, analysing the underlying factors affecting trust in driverless cars. The technology is seen as being a huge disruptor in the next technology revolution but a lack of trust is a principal barrier to its wide-scale adoption.


Zipline's drone deliveries in the spotlight

Integration Pilot Programme Takes Off

01 Aug 2018 at 10:00 BST

Last year saw the announcement of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP), a project seeking to bring together regulators and industry players, allowing testing of a variety of different applications of drones.


Platooning trucks could reduce fuel costs

The Emergent Potential of Driverless Trucks

06 Aug 2018 at 09:13 BST

While self-driving taxis make the headlines, both positively and negatively, the area of driverless trucks is also being quietly explored. Many start-ups across the world have begun to design and test autonomous trucks, with uses from haulage to port-based activities in China.


Education of AI opens up the playing field

Routes Into AI

10 Sep 2018 at 10:04 BST

A growing demand for AI education has seen a range of universities and institutions create new courses in the face of great demand. Carnegie Mellon university is the latest to launch an undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence (AI), claiming it is the first of its kind in the US.


Further approval required from EU ministers

European Drone Rules A Step Closer

12 Sep 2018 at 10:46 BST

Regulatory standards on drones are one step closer in Europe following approval by MEPs of an agreement between the Council and Parliament reached in November 2017 to revise the powers of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).


States disagree over degrees of autonomy

Still no Ban on Killer Robots

18 Sep 2018 at 10:32 BST

The UN’s Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) met on 31st August 2018 in Geneva, but no firm agreement over a ban of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) was reached.


Weak IP laws in India stifle innovation in AI

#AIforAll – India's National AI Strategy

19 Sep 2018 at 10:00 BST

Artificial intelligence is at the heart of India’s economic strategy, according to finance minister Arun Jaitley. As part of his budget speech for 2018-19, Jaitley recognised the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to transform economies and the need for India to strategise its approach in order to maximise the benefits of the technology.


Clarity over when a car is autonomous is required

How Motor Insurance Will Become Automatic

01 Oct 2018 at 10:28 BST

Alistair Kinsley, director of policy and government affairs at law firm BLM, speaks to the Robotics Law Journal about the issues that manufacturers and insurers face with the advent of driverless cars, as well as how the motor insurance industry is likely to change.


Rwanda's CAA only issued one permit since 2016

Transforming Africa's Agriculture

08 Oct 2018 at 11:45 BST

The African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) have released a report examining how drones can transform the welfare of agriculture on the continent, “Drones on the Horizon: Transforming Africa’s Agriculture”.


Airmap claims to be first to have UTM in the EU

UTM's Missing Part

12 Oct 2018 at 12:26 BST

Integrating drones into airspace is an issue facing regulators globally, as safety concerns are prominent, while the economic potential of the technology needs to be allowed to develop and flourish. Managing this traffic with an effective system occupies many companies, hence the launch of U-Space, an initiative to implement pan-European Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM).


Amateur lifesavers threatened with fines

FAA restricts drone "white knights"

22 Oct 2018 at 14:13 BST

During the hurricane season last year, drones were deployed in areas affected by Harvey and Irma, showcasing UAS’ life-saving capabilities, and once again they have been instrumental in the relief efforts for areas affected by Hurricane Florence.


Drone regulations so far lacking in India

Indian drone regulations receive update

24 Oct 2018 at 11:00 BST

India’s drone regulation has, to this point, been very ad-hoc and fragmented, resulting in a drone industry that has not been able to capitalise on the opportunities offered by the technology. On 27th August, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced the country’s first Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) that will go into effect on 1st December 2018.


UK: compulsory motor insurance extended to AVs

Driverless Car Risks

29 Oct 2018 at 19:31 BST

As it stands, when an individual suffers an injury following a collision with, or in, a vehicle, as a result of a driver’s negligence, that individual is entitled to make a claim for compensation against that driver’s insurance company.


Law firms need to adapt by adopting AI

AI a Necessity for Law Firms

15 Nov 2018 at 10:45 BST

An interview with Erin Hichman, senior analyst at ALM Legal Intelligence.


Public perception of drones swayed by media

Misleading drone crash video angers DJI

08 Jan 2019 at 16:48 BST

Leading drone manufacturer DJI has written a letter to the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) asking it to withdraw a misleading video and blog post about collisions between drones and traditional aircraft.


Cyber security boost protection against fraud

US midterms given cyber guards

08 Jan 2019 at 16:50 BST

At least three US states, including Washington, Illinois, and Wisconsin, activated National Guard cyber security units, keeping them on standby in case they were needed.


EU directive brought into member states' law

Slovakia implements EU cybersecurity directive

09 Jan 2019 at 12:34 BST

The Slovak Act on Cybersecurity took force on April 1 2018. It enshrines into national law part of a larger piece of legislation from the European Union (EU): the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (the NIS Directive).


New pilot programme recommended

FAA reauthorised for five years

11 Jan 2019 at 10:27 BST

On Wednesday 5 October, President Trump signed the FAA Reauthorisation Act of 2018, after the Senate had given final approval to the five year reauthorisation for the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). It passed the Senate by a 93-6 vote, and is noteworthy as being the first five-year bill to be passed since the 1980s.


Secure cybersecurity legislation required for IoT

The dangers of connected devices

06 Feb 2019 at 14:06 BST

The Internet of Things (IoT) will provide a number of different challenges to privacy and data protection. Examining these issues are Dr Kevin Curran, senior member of the IEEE and professor of cybersecurity in the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems at the University of Ulster, and Adam Brown, manager of security solutions at Synopsys.


Moral and legal arguments over robot rules abound

Robot Rules Review

01 Apr 2019 at 17:09 BST

UK lawyer and author Jacob Turner addresses the legal and ethical problems that AI can cause in his new book, Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence, published by Palgrave Macmillan.


New use cases to be tested if rules go through

FAA's new proposed rules

03 Apr 2019 at 16:42 BST

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made a series of announcements across the first two months of 2019, as the country exited the government shutdown and normal service was resumed.


Swarming and overwhelming defences

US Unmanned Fleet

04 Apr 2019 at 13:30 BST

In recent years the US Navy has lagged behind international competitors Russia and China, which have looked to improve their anti-access technologies to protect their aircraft carriers.


Over a hundred recorded drone incidents in 2018

Drones in shared airspace

18 Apr 2019 at 15:35 BST

It was the largest disruption to air travel since the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull descended upon the country in April 2010. Military assistance was called in, with some reports that it would be using Drone Dome, an Israeli counter-drone system. In the end, it was confirmed that an alternative system had been used in its place, as Drone Dome had not yet been delivered.