Poster for Ian R. Kerr Memorial Lecture presentation info


As the capacity of information technology grows exponentially, offering unprecedented potential for data collection, mining and analytics, where do we draw the line between the data that should remain protected by the right to privacy and that which could be accessed in the interest of science, public policy, law enforcement or digital equality? We will discuss this new tension and the pressure it puts on established concepts.

About the Distinguished Speaker

Professor Kate Crawford is a leading international scholar of the social implications of artificial intelligence. She is a Research Professor at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles, a Senior Principal Researcher at MSR in New York, an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, and the inaugural Visiting Chair for AI and Justice at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.  Her latest book,  Atlas of AI (Yale, 2021) won the Sally Hacker Prize from the Society for the History of Technology, the ASSI&T Best Information Science Book Award, and was named one of the best books in 2021 by New Scientist and the Financial Times.

Over her twenty-year research career, she has also produced groundbreaking creative collaborations and visual investigations. Her project Anatomy of an AI System with Vladan Joler is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the V&A in London, and was awarded with the Design of the Year Award in 2019 and included in the Design of the Decades by the Design Museum of London. Her collaboration with the artist Trevor Paglen, Excavating AI, won the Ayrton Prize from the British Society for the History of Science. She has advised policy makers in the United Nations, the White House, and the European Parliament, and she currently leads the Knowing Machines Project, an international research collaboration that investigates the foundations of machine learning.

About the Ian R. Kerr Memorial Lecture

The Ian R. Kerr Lecture is a new high-level annual lecture established to enable distinguished thinkers from around the world to share with the general public the results of original study on important subjects of contemporary interest on current and future technological issues.

The lecture aims to continue the remarkable legacy of Dr. Ian R. Kerr, Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology at the University of Ottawa, by fostering discussions on the legal, ethical, and societal implications of technology, and promoting innovative research and programming in these areas. Through this platform, we hope to engage, enlighten, and encourage the exchange of ideas, honoring Dr. Kerr's contributions and his profound impact on students, faculty, and his field

A founding member of the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society,  Ian joined the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section in 2000 and was named as the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology in 2001. He identified the need to examine the legal and ethical implications of technology years before these issues emerged as leading societal concerns. His towering career spanned a myriad of law and policy challenges including robots and the law, artificial intelligence, privacy, surveillance, security, digital rights management, algorithms, electronic contracting, human rights, and human enhancement. As always, he brought a unique, multi-disciplinary perspective, drawing on his four-way appointment in Law, Medicine, Philosophy, and Information Studies.

He was an immensely gifted teacher, a world-class researcher, a devoted colleague, and generous friend and mentor. He was widely recognized as a remarkable talent, whose impact on students, faculty, and his field will be felt for decades to come. In the policy realm, his work was quoted by the Supreme Court of Canada, by politicians in the House of Commons and the Senate, and in numerous government reports. His generosity, warmth, and good humour touched the lives of thousands of people. Whether national privacy commissioners or first-year law students, he made time for everyone, offering encouragement, insight, and a deeply held view that everyone had an opportunity and responsibility to help shape our collective digital future. 

We invite you to consider making a donation towards the Ian R. Kerr Memorial Fund to support the Lecture, the Kerr fellows and more. You can learn more at

If you require accommodation, please contact the event host as soon as possible.
Date and time
Oct 18, 2023
4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Format and location
In person
Fauteux Hall (FTX)
Room 147, 57 Louis-Pasteur Private Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5.
The event will be recorded, and photos may be taken.
General public
This is a free event. Registration is required. A reception will follow.
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