Keynote speakers

Amnon Reichman: A Closer Look at The Emerging Castles: Regulatory Sandboxes Revisited


Regulating disruptive technologies poses an inherent tension: the evidence-based approach allows us to carefully delineate the harm that needs to be avoided and analyze the fit between the regulatory measures and the harm such measures are designed to mitigate; but when the technology is mature enough to manifest such harm, it is often too late, as the horses are out of the barn. The technological, social and economic ecosystem has become set, if not entrenched, and the regulation is destined to be a step behind the technology, especially given that the rate of technological evolution usually exceeds the rate of regulatory progression. On the other hand, adopting an anticipatory, cautious approach by regulating potential risks before the risk materializes or without a good enough grasp on the manner in which such risks may materialize, may tilt the balance the other way, and unduly inhibit innovation.

One common set of methodologies with which to navigate this dilemma are referred to as “sandboxing”: establishing a regulatory pilot, where some segments of the industry may experiment for a certain time period (and sometimes in a given geographical area) with providing products and services, within boundaries that are meant to keep practices that appear a-priori overly dangerous off the playground. Such experiment, the theory goes, will inform both the industry and the regulator about how best to calibrate the risk/innovation balance. Accordingly, several jurisdictions are experimenting with legal frameworks that are designed to enable and support such sandboxes. While such an approach is promising, it raises weighty questions that have not yet been fully addressed. The lecture will take a closer look at regulatory sandboxes, and highlight conceptual, institutional, doctrinal and technological aspects that should be carefully analyzed for sandboxing to fulfil its promise.


Amnon Reichman is a professor of law and the Director of the Center for Cyber, Law and Policy at the University of Haifa. His areas of expertise are public law and law & technology, and he has written on judicial review, regulation, human rights and theories of interpretation, generally and in the context of the cybernetic domain. In addition to teaching constitutional and administrative law at the faculty of law at Haifa, professor Reichman is a visiting professor at Berkeley Law, where he teaches comparative constitutional law, and he serves as a Co-Chair of the AICL-IADC group on digital constitutionalism. His recent publications in the law & technology area include the analysis of the role of the state in Cyber (written together with E. Haber and published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal) and the examination of regulating AI (written together with Giovanni Sartor and published in Constitutional Challenges in the algorithmic Society by Cambridge UP).

Sonja Utz: Social media use for professional purposes: effects and underlying processes


Professional social network sites such as LinkedIn promise their users to make them more successful by providing them access to people and information. Cross-sectional studies found that users of LinkedIn or Twitter indeed report higher professional informational benefits than non-users. Two approaches are used to explain this finding. The social capital approach argues that social media help people build and maintain social networks and thus social capital, resulting in outcomes such as informational benefits. Another line of research focuses on the intrapersonal perspective and the question of how people process the information on social media feeds and whether this helps them to build so-called ambient awareness, a cognitive representation of who-knows-what in their network. The talk presents results from cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental studies on both processes to provide a comprehensive picture of the conditions under which social media use for professional purposes results in short- or longer-term benefits.


Sonja Utz is the head of the Everyday Media Lab at Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien in Tübingen. She is also a full professor for Communication via Social Media at University of Tübingen. Sonja Utz studied psychology at the Catholic University of Eichstätt from 1991 to 1996, where she also earned her PhD in 1999. Her PhD thesis focused on social identification with virtual communities. Before moving to Tübingen, she held positions in Chemnitz, Amsterdam and Leeuwarden. Her current research focuses on effects of social and mobile media use, especially in knowledge related contexts, as well as on human-machine interaction.

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