UCALL Conference 2023: Autonomy, Algorithms and Accountability

Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

Adaptive or self-learning algorithms are increasingly common in our day-to-day lives. How such algorithms make decisions can be unknown even to its programmer. Their ‘autonomy’ challenges core notions of accountability and liability. Fundamental notions such as autonomy, attribution, due diligence and causality, which were originally developed with human actors in mind – humans who can explain their decision-making and account for their actions. How and to what extent should such notions be adapted to autonomously operating algorithms and artificial intelligence? 


9.30 – 9.45


9.45 – 10.00

Opening by Elbert de Jong (UCALL, Utrecht University)

10.00 – 11.00  

Keynote by Anna Beckers (Maastricht University)

11.00 – 11.20

Coffee break

11.20 – 12.20

Plenary session

Chair: Lucas Roorda

  • Lorenzo Gradoni: The Dialogue of the Two Black Boxes: AI’s Thoughts about Justice
  • Ching-Fu Lin: The Roles and Limits of Algorithmic Transparency in Taming Black Box AI



12.20 – 13.00


13.00 – 14.30

Panel 1


AI and Criminal law

Chair: Naomi van de Pol

  • Sjors Ligthart & Joeri Bemelmans: Criminal Liability of AI-entities: nonsense or substance?
  • Beatrice Fragasso: The failure of causation in AI-crimes as an overall failure of Criminal law?
  • Alice Giannini: Criminal or (im)moral machines? AI systems as subjects of criminal law


AI and Private law

Chair: Anneloes Kuiper

  • Amelie Berz: Physician's Duty of Care in the Use of AI
  • Shu Li: The Gap between Harm and Tort Damage in the Era of AI: Prospects of Multi-level Governance in the EU?
  • Peter Wills: Care for Chatbots
14.30 – 14.50  

Coffee break

14.50 – 16.20 

Panel 2


AI and International law

Chair: Machiko Kanetake

  • Jessica Dorsey: Distancing our Humanity: The Costs to Transparency and Accountability of Doubling-Down on Remoteness in Warfare
  • Mark Klamberg: Regulatory Choices at the Advent of Gig Warfare
  • Daniele Mandrioli: The responsibility of the Flag State for Assisting People in Distress at Sea in the Age of Autonomous Navigation


Policing and governance

Chair: Johannes Bijlsma

  • Sarah Cupler: AI in Policing
  • Pim Janssen & Sterre Klein: Digitalisation and the Evolution of General Principles of Good Governance: Legal Protection in Algorithmic Decision-Making
  • Mike Gregory: Realizing the Rule of Law?: Rule by Automation and Human Discretion
16.20 – 17.00    

Closing panel

Chair: Roeland de Bruin              

  • Floris Bex (Utrecht University)
  • Mindy Dufforc (Maastricht University)
  • Anna Beckers (Maastricht University)
17.00 – 17.30


Start date and time
End date and time
Quinton House, Nieuwegracht 60, Utrecht (The Netherlands)

Registration form UCALL Conference