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Regulating AI: A Sisyphean Task?

Regulating AI: A Sisyphean Task?

A Breakfast Talk @ the Berkman Klein Center

Join us on November 1st for a breakfast talk about the future of AI regulation from a transatlantic perspective at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society!

As regulators make a move to supervise emerging AI technologies, the question inevitably emerges of whether we’ve embarked on a Sisyphean task. Should we be regulating the technology itself? Or might it be better instead to design governance frameworks within which AI will operate? This event will explore these questions from a regulatory perspective. It will also discuss the policy challenges associated with AI regulation, considering the broader political framework in which regulatory attempts operate. As regulatory initiatives emerge worldwide, such as through the European Union’s “AI Act”, or the US’ anticipated AI Executive Order, this event will compare and contrast the merits of these actions. Breakfast will be served following the event.


    9:30 - 9:35 – Opening remarks by Dr. Elisabeth Sylvan, Senior Director for Strategy and Programming, BKC

9:35-10:25 – Panel discussion and Q&A

  1. Caitlin Fennessy (Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer; International Association of Privacy Professionals)
  2. Leonardo Cervera Navas (Secretary General; European Data Protection Supervisor)
  3. Aileen Nielsen (Visiting Assistant Professor, Harvard Law School)
  4. Theodore Christakis (Professor of International and European Law, AI Regulation Chair, Multidisciplinary Institute on AI, University Grenoble Alps, France)

Moderator: Isabel Hahn (LL.M. Candidate, Harvard Law School)

10:25 - 10:30 – Closing remarks by Alan Raul, HLS Lecturer on Digital Governance & AI

Elisabeth Sylvan

Elisabeth Sylvan - Opening Remarks

Senior Director for Strategy and Programming, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

Dr. Elisabeth Sylvan is the Senior Director for Strategy and Programming at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. At BKC she has launched new educational initiatives such as the Summer Institute and BKC Research Sprints, which include Digital Identity in Times of Crisis, Digital Ethics in Times of Crisis: COVID-19 & Access to Education Learning Spaces, Digital Self Determination, and AI Policy Research Clinic. She co-leads the Policy Practice and also co-organizes the Tech through Spec working group.
Caitlin Fennessy

Caitlin Fennessy - Panelist

Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer, International Association of Privacy Professionals

Caitlin Fennessy is Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer at the International Association of Privacy Professionals, where she guides the strategic development of IAPP research, publications, communications, programming and external affairs. Caitlin serves as an inaugural member of the UK International Data Transfers Expert Council, on the German Marshall Global Task Force to Promote Trusted Sharing of Data and on the Future of Privacy Forum Advisory Board.

Leonardo Cervera Nevas

Leonardo Cervera Navas - Panelist

Secretary General, European Data Protection Supervisor

Leonardo Cervera Navas is the Secretary General of the European Data Protection Supervisor, the data protection authority for the European Union institutions. Leonardo joined the European Commission in 1999 and has been working in data protection since. As Secretary General, he directly supports the Supervisor in his daily tasks of managing the institution, coordinating the works of the EDPS services and implementing the strategies and policies of the  instituthe strategies and policies of the institution.

Aileen Nielsen

Aileen Nielsen - Panelist

Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Aileen Nielsen is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Harvard Law School, where she teaches privacy law and torts. Her research focuses on the interplay of law and technology, drawing on empirical methods and private law topics. She has written two trade books on machine learning and has also worked in industry as a data scientist. She holds degrees in anthropology, physics, and law and is a member of the New York bar.

Theodore Christakis

Theodore Christakis - Panelist

Professor of International and European Law, AI Regulation Chair, Multidisciplinary Institute on AI, University Grenoble Alps, France

Theodore Christakis is Professor of International and European Law at the University of Grenoble Alps, Director of the Centre for International Security and European Law, Director of Research for Europe with the Cross-Border Data Forum, Senior Fellow with the Future of Privacy Forum and a former Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the New York University Cybersecurity Centre. As an international expert, Theodore has advised governments, international organisations, and private companies on issues concerning international and European law, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and data protection law.

Isabel Hahn

Isabel Hahn - Moderator

LL.M. Candidate, Harvard Law School

Isabel Hahn is currently an LL.M. candidate at Harvard Law School. Prior to joining Harvard Law, Isabel was Member of Cabinet of the Supervisor at the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the European Union’s regulatory authority responsible for overseeing data protection and privacy compliance. Isabel also worked in privacy litigation at noyb - European Center for Digital Rights. Her recent accolades include the “Rising Star in Privacy” award and shortlist for the European Data Protection Law Review’s “Young Scholar Award”.

Alan Raul

Alan Raul - Closing Remarks

Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

Alan is the founder of Sidley’s global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice and serves as Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. He teaches “Digital Governance: Privacy, Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology” and “Cybersecurity Risks, Rules and Responsibilities.” He is a member of the Technology Litigation Advisory Committee of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, the governing Board of Directors of the Future of Privacy Forum, and the Council on Foreign Relations.


Past Event
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Berkman Klein Center
1557 Massachusetts Ave 5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138 US

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