Rebecca Crootof

rcrootof's picture

Rebecca Crootof is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law. Dr. Crootof's primary areas of research include technology law, international law, and torts; her written work explores questions stemming from the iterative relationship between law and technology, often in light of social changes sparked by increasingly autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, cyberspace, robotics, and the Internet of Things. Work available at

Subscribe to this Lawfare contributor via RSS.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Research Needs Responsible Publication Norms

After nearly a year of suspense and controversy, any day now the team of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers at OpenAI will release the full and final version of GPT-2, a language model that can “generate coherent paragraphs and perform rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering, and summarization—all without task-specific training.” When OpenAI first unveiled the program in February, it was capable of impressive feats: Given a two-sentence prompt about unicorns living in the Andes Mountains, for example, the program

Autonomous Weapon Systems

An Opportunity to Change the Conversation on Autonomous Weapon Systems

Those working to ban “killer robots” were clearly distraught when the Chair of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) recently announced that the August 2017 meeting—and, by extension, the inaugural meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems—was canceled due to insufficient funding. Disappointed but undeterred, ban advocates proposed that states “move swiftly . .

Autonomous Weapon Systems

Why the Prohibition on Permanently Blinding Lasers is Poor Precedent for a Ban on Autonomous Weapon Systems

Human Rights Watch and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School have released their latest report regarding autonomous weapon systems: Precedent for Preemption: The Ban on Blinding Lasers as a Model for a Killer Robots Prohibition. While new regulation is needed, the report fails to address crucial distinctions between the successful ban on permanently blinding lasers and the proposed prohibition on autonomous weapon systems.