Artificial Intelligence & Law Colloquium: Jessica M. Eaglin

Monday, January 25 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event

Technologically Distorted Conceptions of Punishment

Jessica M. Eaglin
Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Bloomington Maurer School of Law

Comments by Professor Kaaryn Gustafson, Director, Center on Law, Equality, and Race.

Much recent work in academic literature and policy discussions suggests that the proliferation of actuarial-meaning statistical-assessments of a defendant's recidivism risk in state sentencing structures is problematic. Yet scholars and policymakers focus on changes in technology over time while ignoring the effects of these tools on society. This Article shifts the focus away from technology to society in order to reframe debates. It asserts that sentencing technologies subtly change key social concepts that shape punishment and society. These same conceptual transformations preserve problematic features of the sociohistorical phenomenon of mass incarceration. By connecting technological interventions and conceptual transformations, this Article exposes an obscured threat posed by the proliferation of risk tools as sentencing reform. As sentencing technologies transform sentencing outcomes, the tools also alter society's language and concerns about punishment. Thus, actuarial risk tools as technological sentencing reform not only excise society 's deeper issues of race, class, and power from debates. The tools also strip society of a language to resist the status quo by changing notions of justice along the way.

About the Colloquium
Machine learning and automated decision-making technologies (colloquially dubbed "artificial intelligence" or "AI") are an increasingly integral feature of social systems. These technologies raise novel legal questions regarding oversight, individual rights, liability and justice. The UCI Law Colloquium on AI & Law brings to campus leading thinkers engaged with these issues.

Zoom details will be sent upon registration.

This activity has been approved for MCLE in the amount of 1.0 hour, as appropriate to the content of the activity. UCI Law is a State Bar approved MCLE provider and certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing MCLE. A link to the MCLE Record of Attendance will be sent via Zoom chat at the end of the webinar. A link to the MCLE Certificate of Attendance will be sent in the confirmation email upon completion of the Record of Attendance. Attendees must have participated in the program in its entirety to receive MCLE credit. Partial credit will not be given. For more details, please email

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Event Type



Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, General Public






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