DS457/DS657/JD673: Law and Algorithms

Course Overview

This cross-cutting and interdisciplinary course, taught jointly between the School of Law, the faculty of Computing and Data Sciences, and Computer Science investigates the role that algorithms and automated decision-making systems play in law and society. The course connects legal and computational concepts of transparency, fairness, bias, trust, and privacy, though a series of case studies that present recent applications of technology to legal and regulatory situations and explore the challenges in regulating algorithms.

Legal concepts explored will include evidence and expert witnesses, anti-discrimination law concepts of disparate impact and disparate treatment, sectoral information privacy regimes, and public access and transparency laws. Computational concepts explored will include artificial intelligence and machine learning, secure multi-party computation, differential privacy, and zero-knowledge proofs.

Syllabus

This course will meet in LAW 204 in the Law Tower. The syllabus for this course can be found as a PDF here.

Readings

Class 1: Intro to Law and Algorithms (Jan. 20)

Required

Intro to Computational Thinking:
Intro to Law and Legal Thinking
Law, Algorithms, and Power:
Influences and Collisions Across Domains:

Optional

The social effect of algorithms:
The regulation of algorithms:
More introductory law & algorithm readings:
Algorithms and power:

Class 2 – The Development and Legal Protection of Software (Jan. 27)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 3 – Putting the TrueAllele Algorithm on Trial (Feb. 3)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 4 – The COMPAS Algorithm and the Optimization Paradox (Feb. 10)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 5 – Is There a “Right” Way to Use Algorithms in Criminal Sentencing? (Feb. 17)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 6 – Artificial Intelligence and Anti-Discrimination Laws (Feb. 24)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 7 – Can Algorithms Mitigate Bias? (March 3)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 8 – Vote by Paper, Vote by Mail, Vote by Smartphone (March 17)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 9 – How Do We Trust the Vote? (March 24)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 10 – “Privacy,” “Security,” and “Encryption” (March 31)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 11 – Differential Privacy and The Census (April 7)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 12 – Conducting Analysis Over Secret Data (April 14)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet

Class 13 – Law and Algorithms (April 21)

Required

No Readings Posted Yet

Optional

No Readings Posted Yet