Ryan Abbott, MD, JD, MTOM, PhD is Professor of Law and Health Sciences at the University of Surrey School of Law and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Professor Ryan Abbott is highly regarded for his scholarship, teaching, and professional activities.
Professor Ryan Abbott is the author of The Reasonable Robot: Artificial Intelligence and the Law published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press, and he has published widely on issues associated with law and technology, health law, and intellectual property in leading legal, medical, and scientific books and journals. Professor Abbott’s research has been featured prominently in the media, including in the New York Times, Financial Times, Forbes, and VICE. He routinely gives keynote lectures and presents internationally in academic (e.g., MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge), government (e.g., World Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization, UK Intellectual Property Office), and industry (e.g., AIPPI, American Chemical Society, INTERPAT) settings. Managing Intellectual Property magazine named him as one of the fifty most influential people in intellectual property in 2019.
Professor Ryan Abbott has worked as a partner in legal practice, and he has been outside general counsel to life science companies. He has served as a consultant or expert for international organizations, academic institutions and non-profit enterprises including the United Kingdom Parliament, European Commission, World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Professor Abbott has also worked as an expert witness which has included testifying in U.S. federal court.
Professor Abbott is a CEDR-accredited mediator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb). He is a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS and a panelist with a variety of national and international dispute resolution service providers. Prior to that, Professor Abbott has worked as a partner in legal practice, where he primarily focused on transactional matters and intellectual property litigation in the life sciences, and he has been general counsel of a biotechnology company.
Professor Ryan Abbott is a licensed physician, attorney, and acupuncturist in the United States, as well as a solicitor advocate in England and Wales. He is board certified by the American Board of Legal Medicine.
Professor Abbott is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine (M.D.), the Yale Law School (J.D.), the University of Surrey School of Law (Ph.D.) as well as a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Emperor’s College (M.T.O.M.) and a Summa Cum Laude graduate from University of California, Los Angeles (B.S.). He is a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and a member of the California and New York State Bars. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).
The Reasonable Robot confronts the impending clash of AI and the law through a series of chapters that examine some of the major areas that will be impacted by the rapidly advancing technology. Abbott guides the reader through an insightful journey that analyzes how we ought to regulate the confluence of AI and fields like tax, criminal law, patent and copyright law, and tort liability. Abbott’s fundamental thesis is that, where AI and these fields – among many others – intersect, there ought to be legal neutrality. In other words, the law should not discriminate between AI and human behavior.
This thesis, should it be realized, has massive implications for our common future. It will level the playing field between robot and human workers to prevent inefficiently subsidizing automation through taxes. It could help usher in a world of autonomous vehicles, which could amount to one of the major public health breakthroughs of the 21st century considering how many deaths and injuries occur because of human drivers. It could mean more innovation, creation, and increased standards of living. This book, the thesis it sets forth, and the ideas it imagines are novel, barrier-pushing arguments.