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VB is pleased to bring readers a new, notable paper in virtual law, Alan Turing and the Matrix: Intelligent Systems for Law Enforcement in Virtual Worlds (.pdf) by Bart Schermer, a partner at consultancy firm Considerati and an assistent professor at the University of Leiden (Faculty of Law) in the Netherlands.

Second Life Police VehicleSchermer has written his PhD. thesis on the legal aspects of intelligent software agents. This paper emphasizes virtual, intelligent law enforcement agents in 3D networked environments. Scary? Maybe. Interesting reading? Definitely. From the paper:

We have established that crime in virtual worlds is a possibility, and that the societal impact of virtual crime might become more significant over time. As such, surveillance and law enforcement in virtual worlds might become necessary. This will put additional strain on the capacity of current law enforcement. It is therefore worthwhile to examine whether intelligent systems can take over some of the surveillance tasks normally executed by law enforcement officers.

That’s right — Agent Smith. Schermer also touches on “artificial judges” and a number of other themes that should resonate with VB readers.

Schermer’s paper originally appeared in Liber Amicorum.

VB’s Reading Room periodically features new, notable papers in virtual law.  If you have written or are writing a related paper that you would like to have hosted at VB, email the editor for more information.

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5 Responses to “Reading Room: New Paper on Intelligent Systems, Law Enforcement, and Virtual Worlds”

  1. on 14 May 2008 at 5:07 pmAshcroft Burnham

    I suspect that artificial intelligence will have to come on a long way before “artificial judges” are a possibility since, as things stand at present, one cannot get a robot/computer to match a five year-old child’s intelligence, or do basic household chores, let alone undertake tasks (sitting as judges) that only the most intellectual of humans can do with any aplomb, and even then, only by working very hard indeed.

  2. [...] For the academically inclined, the Virtually Blind blog has an excellent piece on virtual law enforcement with a link to the paper written by a Dutch Assistant Professor at the University of Leiden, Bart [...]

  3. [...] by Tim Stevens on 16 May 2008 Benjamin Duranske at Virtual Law flags up a paper by Bart Schermer, partner in consultancy firm Considerati and an assistant professor at the [...]

  4. on 18 May 2008 at 11:37 amTim Stevens

    Ashcroft – regarding the analagous human age for present AI, see here. The researchers claim intelligence equivalent to a four-year old.

  5. on 17 Sep 2009 at 11:28 pmTigroSpottystripes Katsu

    Judge:What does the defendant says?

    Defendant: I’m not guilty your honor.

    Judge: Why are you so negative about that?


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