Institute for Information Law: “Science Fiction & Information Law” Essay Competition “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before”

Science fiction and information law have more in common than meets the eye. Both are fascinated by new and emerging technologies, and both feel a strong urge to write about them. Authors in both ‘genres’ dedicate a considerable share of their time speculating about how these technologies may evolve. Most importantly, science fiction authors, as well as information law scholars, ponder what the implications will be for society, markets and the values that we cherish and seek to protect.

This is why we organise the first IViR Science Fiction & Information Law Essay Competition. We welcome essays that reflect on our possible data-driven future, where data has been firmly established as an economic asset and new, data-driven smart technologies can change the way we live, work, love, think and vote. How will AI change politics, democracy or the future of the media? What will life be like with robot judges and digital professors? What is the future of transportation in the wake of drones, the autonomous car and perfect matching of transportation needs? Is there a life beyond the ubiquity of social media: Is there bound to be an anti-thesis and if so, what will the synthesis look like? What will happen when social media corporations start fully-fledged co-operation with the police? Or unleash the power of public engagement  to solve or prevent crime by themselves? How would crime respond to all this? What could be the true implications of the ‘data economy’ and if we really can pay our bills with our data? How will future information law look like in the age of AI?

The authors of the best five essays will compete for the IViR Science Fiction & Information Law Award. The award will be granted by an independent jury, and the five authors will be invited to Amsterdam for a public symposium. At this symposium, each essay will be discussed by two information law scholars, who will reflect on the possible normative ramifications, what the role of law is to promote or rather prevent such a future, or what the law in such a future would look like. Combined, these contributions will be published in the form of a special issue in the open access journal Internet Policy Review.

We welcome essays between 8000-15000 words in English. We encourage contributions from sci-fi authors but also from all scholars, thinkers, lay-philosophers, bloggers and interested citizens who like to think about technology and society, and maybe have been toying with the idea of writing something for quite some time but never did. This is your opportunity!
Please send your essay to by 15 December 2018.


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