Deutsch Intern
Würzburg Centre for Social Implications of Artificial Intelligence (SOCAI)

Technology Law: In and Beyond the State

Research Area 2. Technology Law: In and Beyond the State

Technology law, as a relatively novel terminology, would in particular refer to the study of ways in which emerging and disruptive technological advances would interact with existing laws, be it national, supranational or international. The scope of study also entails associated implications of these technological advances in furthering the development of new laws, regulatory revision and the overall rethinking of traditional legal conceptions. Navigating through multifaceted relationships between technological advances and law may not always be straight forward, as such requires in-depth analyses of applicable facts, the interpretation of the applicable legal and regulatory infrastructure, in combination with a minimum technical know-how.

The definition of technology in this context ranges from digitisation and automation technologies to domains covered by Information and Communications Technology (ICT), automated data processing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) -enabled developments in general.  The discipline of ICT, among others, addresses matters related to privacy, data protection, cybersecurity, telecommunications, Fintech, data-driven economic models and in particular networked technologies.

Whether the law undermines the potential and pragmatic capabilities of emerging technologies, alternatively enhances the overall societal effects aimed for by technological advances, has been a persistent topic of public and academic discourse. To the extreme side of the spectrum, it has even been argued that these technologies would effectively act to the impediment of the application of the rule of law. This research area explores a variety of themes connected to the chances and risks of emerging technologies.

First, under the pillar Technical Enforcement vs. Legal Enforcement, the concept of enforcement both from technical and legal perspectives will be evaluated, whereby individual real life case scenarios will be put under scrutiny. Next, the pillar Socio-Technical Transformations will enable us to explore newly emerging social constructs, whereby matters related to governance and the allocation of responsibility among varying actors would be among the range of questions that are given close consideration. The third pillar Transnational (Policy Making) Impact would allow for a digression from legal analysis, leaning towards cross border policy formation and associated political dynamics in a context where the role of jurisdictional boundaries of nation states would increasingly become less significant.