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Ohio State Technology Law Journal

Most Recent Print Issue
Spring 2024
Volume 20, Issue 2
Jon M. Garon
Prometheus' Digital Fire: The Civic Responsibilities of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed the technological landscape and impacted almost every field of endeavor. Predictive AI can help science and industry understand trends in vast amounts of data, create biometric identification systems, and improve business efficiency. Generative AI enables apps to create new documents, music, images, and designs. These and other forms of AI have the potential to disrupt industry, art, and culture. Although many of the concerns about AI are well known, the global and industrial opportunity is too large to pass up, and usage has become ubiquitous. This article focuses on the potential benefits and risks of various AI systems, particularly with regard to bias in the design and implementation of predictive AI, the implications to privacy by both predictive and generative AI, the consequences of inaccurate generative AI content, and the implications of adoption of generative AI if the systems prove effective. The article also addresses efforts by the European Union to adopt regulatory legislation and the U.S. alternative strategies for industry selfregulation and federal legislation. Finally, the article identifies steps that industry can take to minimize risks and maximize the benefit of AI adoption.

Steven M. Bellovin
Who Coined the Phrase "Data Shadow"?

The phrase “data shadow” is commonly used in books and articles on privacy. The origin of the phrase, though, is mysterious. It is often attributed to Alan Westin, but it does not seem to appear in any of his writings. I show that it was used in 1972 by Dr. Kerstin Anér, a member of the Swedish parliament, as “dataskugga”. She later used the phrase in English, later in the 1970s. It was briefly popular then, but disappeared until the early 1990s. It has since become a popular and evocative phrase to describe how our activities, online and offline, follow us around.

Catherine J. Cameron
It's Time to End the Zombie Reign of Red Lion Broadcasting

The Internet is hunkered down in a ramshackle cabin, and the only walls protecting it from the zombie case that is Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969), are the walls constructed by section 230 of the Communication Decency Act. As a creature of legislation, those walls are flimsy and could crumble at any moment. And the Red Lion Broadcasting zombie is aggressive. The premises of the Red Lion Broadcasting case—that the government should be allowed to regulate the broadcast spectrum to promote the public interest because the spectrum is “scarce”—were proven wrong over forty years ago, but the case has been revived in zombie form and continues to lumber around the legal landscape seeking to infect new law. The only way to save the Internet and new technologies of the future from regulatory schemes based on strained notions of scarcity is for the Court to expressly overrule Red Lion Broadcasting and dispense with arguments that scarcity of any imagined kind warrants regulation of new media.

Steven M. Bellovin
The Antiquity of Algorithmic Patents

Software patents have long been controversial. Although they are accepted today, if only implicitly—there is nothing in the patent statute that explicitly permits them—the Patent Office and the courts have gone back and forth on the patentability of software. In the early 20th century, though, patents were routinely issued for what today would be termed software—more precisely, programs—even though this was long before computers existed. I recount some of this history and give several examples of such patents, including objections (or the lack thereof) from patent examiners per the file histories—and later examples of where similar claims were disallowed by the courts. Policy arguments aside, the precedents suggest that algorithmic patents should be allowed, but their precise scope has never been clearly delineated

Yunus Adelodun & Mubarak Nurudeen
Navigating the New Normal: Exploring the Impact of Online Dispute Resolution on Access to Justice in Post-COVID Nigeria

The COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, causing global disruption to the way and manner of doing things given the rapid spread of the virus. To curb transmission, governments implemented strict public health measures including lockdowns, travel restrictions, and bans on public gatherings. These steps, though critical from a public health perspective, had a severe impact on the normal functioning of societies.

The legal sector was no exception to this disruption, with courthouses closing or operating at reduced capacity, in-person hearings and trials suspended, and case backlogs expanding as the justice system ground to a halt. Confronted with the limitations of traditional in-court dispute resolution methods, innovative solutions were imperative. In response, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platforms emerged as a remote means of resolving legal conflicts. ODR leverages videoconferencing, online negotiation tools, and artificial intelligence to offer efficient, cost effective dispute resolution without the necessity for physical court appearances or travel. As the pandemic continued, ODR evolved into an indispensable tool for mediation, arbitration, and even remote courtroom proceedings.

This article therefore provides an insight into the potential of ODR in enhancing access to justice during and beyond the pandemic, thereby dismantling conventional barriers like geography, cost, and knowledge. Wellplanned ODR has the potential to provide individuals and businesses previously excluded from dispute resolution with new, equitable conflict resolution options. Nevertheless, it is essential to design ODR systems thoughtfully to prevent the replication or exacerbation of existing inequalities. In conclusion, this article underscores the substantial potential of a wellconstructed ODR to play a pivotal role in expanding access to justice worldwide in the aftermath of the pandemic’s disruption of traditional legal practices. The research also highlights the importance of ensuring that ODR platforms are effective, fair, and impartial and that they do not perpetuate existing inequalities or create new barriers to access to justice. The research therefore concludes that ODR has the potential to play a significant role in providing access to justice in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era in Nigeria.