“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 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 Writing Competition. We welcome fiction stories 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 social media? Is there bound to be an anti-thesis and what will the synthesis look like? What will happen when social networks start full-fledged co-operation with the police? Or unleash the power of public engagement  to solve or prevent crime? And what could be the true implications of the ‘data economy’ and if we really can pay with our data? How will future information law look like in the age of AI?

The best five fiction stories will be awarded the IVIR Science Fiction & Information Law Award by an independent jury, and will be invited to Amsterdam for a symposium. At this symposium, each fiction story will be discussed by two information law scholars, who reflect on the possible normative ramification, what the role of law is to promote or rather prevent such a future, or how law in such a future would look like. Together, these contributions will be considered for publication in the form of a special issue in the open access journal Internet Policy Review.

Welcome are essays of up to max. 8000 words in English. Please send your story to n.helberger@uva.nl by 15 December 2018.