They invite submissions for the 11th annual robotics law and policy conference—We Robot—to be held at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, on September 14-16, 2022. Currently they are planning for an in-person event.
We Robot 2022 seeks contributions by North American and international academics, practitioners, and others, in the form of scholarly papers, technological demonstrations, or posters. Hosted over the years by the law schools of Miami, Washington, Yale, Stanford, and Ottawa, We Robot fosters conversations between the people designing, building, and deploying robots and the people who shape or influence the legal and social structures in which robots will operate. Their thoroughly interdisciplinary program committee particularly encourages papers with co-authors from different fields.
- Abstracts due: March 7
- Decisions: May 9
- Final papers due: August 8
They invite abstracts for scholarly papers on a range of topics related to the legal, policy, ethical, economic, social, or cultural aspects of robotics and artificial intelligence. They encourage you to peruse our ten years of previous conferences for examples of successful papers.
- We Robot 2021 (U. Miami)
- We Robot 2020 (U. Ottawa)
- We Robot 2019 (U. Miami)
- We Robot 2018 (Stanford)
- We Robot 2017 (Yale)
- We Robot 2016 (U. Miami)
- We Robot 2015 (U. Washington)
- We Robot 2014 (U. Miami)
- We Robot 2013 (Stanford)
- We Robot 2012 (U. Miami)
How to Propose a Paper. Papers should be submitted through the conference submission portal. Proposers will need to provide:
- Title of the proposed paper and an abstract of between 500 and 1000 words. Submitters are cautioned that proposals that exceed the length limit will be rejected unread. A past organizer posted some general tips and some model abstracts. In addition (not counted in the word limit) please provide a list of up to 5 key references that you refer to in the paper that will help them understand how to situate your paper in the robot law literature;
- Please do NOT put any names or biographical information in your uploaded proposal. However, on a separate sheet, please – again without your name(s) or the name(s) of institutions or corporations – list the current title of each contributor (e.g. “Ph. D candidate in Mechanical Engineering” or “Associate Professor of Anthropology” or “Chief Technologist at Robotics Startup”). They are asking for this information because in past years they have sometimes struggled to determine whether proposers had the experience or disciplinary breadth to deliver on certain types of ambitious proposals; purely blind submissions did not, for example, allow them to tell if submissions were by one person or a group.
- To preserve blind review, please do not ask members of the program or review committee to review draft abstracts in advance of submission.
They will waive conference fees for all authors of accepted papers if the full paper is submitted on time. In addition, subject to funding availability, they intend to provide for domestic air travel (or, if necessary, at least partial funding for international air travel), plus lodging, for one paper presenter provided the full paper is submitted by the due date.
They invite proposals for demonstrations of interesting new robots and related technology. Unlike scholarly papers, proposals for demonstrations may be purely descriptive and designer/builders will be asked to present their work themselves. They’d like to hear about your latest innovations, what’s on the drawing board for the next generations of robots, or about legal and policy issues you have encountered in the design or deploy process. They will prioritize demos with a hardware component, so please plan to bring your own robot (BYOR) if you can.
How to pitch a demo. Demos should be submitted through the conference submission portal. Please include a description of what you have, or are doing, with links to any relevant photos or audio-visual information, as well as your C.V. or other relevant background. Please be sure to choose the “Demo” track for your upload. Please include a brief description of what facilities and resources your demonstration might require (e.g., power, internet connection, space).
They waive conference fees for all demonstrators.
We Robot’s poster session is designed to accommodate early-stage, cutting-edge, or late-breaking projects. This session is ideal for researchers to get feedback on a work in progress. At least one of the authors of each accepted poster should plan to be present at the poster during the entire poster session, and for a “lightning round” of one-minute presentations during the main session. You can bring the poster or, in some cases, with sufficient lead time we may be able to print it in Seattle for you. If accepted, you will also need to provide a web-friendly summary of the work that we can post on the conference web site.
How to propose a poster session. Poster sessions should be submitted through the conference submission portal. Please include an up to 500 word description of what you have or are doing, with links to any relevant photos or audio visual information, as well as your C.V. Please be sure to choose the “Posters” track for your upload. They’ll be accepting poster proposals on a rolling basis, meaning that there will be an advantage to submitting early. Remember, at least one author of an accepted poster must register for the conference to submit the final version.
They waive conference fees for all poster authors.
At We Robot, authors generally do not present their own papers. Unless otherwise indicated during acceptance, every paper accepted will be assigned a discussant who will present and comment on the paper. These presentations will be very brief (no more than 10 minutes) and will consist mostly of making a few points critiquing the author’s paper to kick off the conversation. Authors will then respond briefly (no more than 5 minutes). The rest of the session will consist of a group discussion with the discussant acting as a moderator. They make all papers available up to month before the conference so that the discussant and all attendees can read them. They invite expressions of interest from potential discussants. If you are interested in commenting on a paper, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Discussant.”
REMINDER: All paper submissions are reviewed blind by the program committee and the review committee. To maximize your chances of acceptance, please do not discuss the substance of your proposal with any program committee members.