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Stanley Greenstein has been appointed Associate Professor

Stanley Greenstein, researcher at The Swedish Law and Informatics Research Institute, has been appointed Associate Professor (Docent) of Law and Information Technology at Stockholm University. We asked him a few questions to find out more about his research.

Hey there...

Stanley, you were awarded your doctorate in June 2017 at Stockholm University. What was your doctoral thesis about?

My thesis Our Humanity Exposed: Predictive Modelling in a Legal Context examined the technology of predictive modelling from a legal perspective. Predictive modelling is a technology based on applied statistics, mathematics, machine learning and artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to analyse big data and identify previously hidden patterns. This knowledge is incorporated into decision-making systems that are artificially intelligent and that are increasingly being used to make decisions about people, such as decisions about credit, insurance, job applications and even health diagnoses. The novel characteristic of these artificially intelligent systems is their ability to manipulate people, which is a cause for concern.

My thesis ascertained to what extent traditional legal regimes address the threats to personal autonomy from the use of predictive models. In particular, it analysed Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as well as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

What have you been researching in recent years?

Most recently my research has been of a trans-disciplinary nature bordering on the intersection between law and artificial intelligence. I am currently involved in a project called EXTREMUM. The aim of the project is to develop a novel platform for learning from complex medical data sources with the aim of predicting future health issues and thereby preventing these, adverse drug event detection and the treatment of cardiovascular diseases being two such examples. The team will present a new framework for data management and analysis of the integration of data, develop methods for machine learning as well as address ethical issues related to predictive models. My role involves addressing the legal perspectives that arise in relation to the above project goals and examine how legal values can be built into the technology already that the design phase.

What made you interested in this particular subject?

I have always been interested in the relationship between law and technology. This relationship has increased in relevance as society has become more digitalised and technologically complex. One of the functions of law is to protect society from risks and vulnerabilities, however, a challenge is the fact that the law develops at a slower rate than technology. Considering this, an inherent future challenge for the legal domain will be to develop regulatory mechanisms that protect society from the risks associated with the invasive technologies associated with artificial intelligence while at the same time promoting technological innovation.

What do you do at SU Law when you are not doing research?

At the department of law I am course director for the advanced optional course called Cyber Law. I also teach on other courses. It is particularly rewarding transferring the knowledge gained from my research projects to Cyber Law as well as to my teaching in general. I also sit in the Department of Law Board (institutionsstyrelsen).

Read more about Stanley Greenstein

What does the title associate professor mean?

Associate Professor is an academic title that denotes a higher level of scientific competence than a doctoral degree alone. In Sweden, the title corresponds to approximately four years of full-time research after the completion of the doctoral degree and that the researcher has demonstrated through various publications and the like that he or she has significantly broadened and deepened his or her research in comparison with the doctoral thesis. 

Associate professorship is not a profession, but at state universities one is admitted as an "unpaid associate professor". The form of employment is usually senior lecturer.