Speaker Spotlight: Q&A with Gail Gottehrer, Founder @ Law Office of Gail Gottehrer LLC

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Gail Gottehrer speaks to us about her role in the tech industry and shares her thoughts on Women of Silicon Valley, taking place May 2-3 in San Francisco.

Gail Gottehrer's practice focuses on technology-related litigation and counseling, including autonomous vehicle regulation, connected vehicle regulation, data privacy, biometrics, cybersecurity, facial recognition, smart cities, and the IoT. She is one of the few defense lawyers to have been involved in the trial of a class action to verdict before a jury.

Gail teaches Law for Knowledge Innovation at Columbia University, and is a member of the Advisory Board for Rutgers University’s Leading Disruptive Innovation Program, and a Fellow at the Center for Legal Innovation at Vermont Law School.

She was appointed Co-Chair of the State of Connecticut’s Task Force to Study Fully Autonomous Vehicles, the NYSBA’s Transportation Committee, Law360’s Transportation Editorial Advisory Board, and NYSBA's Technology and the Legal Profession Committee.

To find out more about Gail, please visit her speaker page

Women of Silicon Roundabout California

Gail will be sharing her wisdom in a session entitled 'Has AI Given Rise to New and Distinctive Ethical Issues?' at 12:05 on May 3 at Women of Silicon Valley. She will be delving into how we are becoming more and more reliant on robots. They’re driving our cars, performing our medical procedures, influencing our elections and threatening to take our jobs (according to some). It is obvious we can’t live without them, but the deeper question of how we live with them remains unanswered.

We're 2 weeks away from Women of Silicon Valley, book now!


Please tell us a little bit about technology-related litigation.

My practice focuses on advising companies on legal and regulatory issues associated with emerging technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, drones, biometrics, facial recognition, artificial intelligence, smart cities, and the Internet of Things.  Technology advances at a much faster pace than law, which can create uncertainty for companies that are developing innovative products that collect and utilize data.  I help them create legal strategies to address the privacy, security, evidentiary and ethical issues that relate to the data their products collect, while meeting their business objectives.

How did you get into the field?

I’ve always been interested in technology and understanding how devices work.  Early in my legal career, I litigated class actions involving Gateway computers and Iomega Zip drives, which were cutting edge technologies at the time. Throughout my career, I’ve incorporated technology into my practice, using data analytics, early case assessment tools, and technology assisted review to help me develop litigation strategies and locate key information in large document sets in an efficient and cost effective manner.     

Why have you decided to get involved with Women of Silicon Valley?

I’ve decided to get involved with Women of Silicon Valley to meet other women who are interested in technology, and to expand my professional network.  It’s incumbent upon women to support other women, and for us to help each other advance in our careers.  By building a network of talented women in technology fields, and referring business and opportunities to them, we can get more women into C-suite positions and decision-making roles in technology-related industries and encourage more women and girls to pursue careers in STEM.

What are you speaking about at Women of Silicon Valley?

The title of my presentation is 'Has AI Given Rise to New and Distinctive Ethical Issues?'  I’ll be speaking about whether we need laws to regulate the use of artificial intelligence in order to ensure that it’s used ethically, rather than in ways that disadvantage certain people or groups.  I’ll also be discussing the question of whether new legal frameworks should be created to deal with the use of artificial intelligence in IoT products like autonomous vehicles and robots, and in automated decision-making, or if existing legal concepts can be applied to these emerging technologies.


What will people learn from listening to your talk?

People will learn about some of the legal theories that can be applied to artificial intelligence and the devices and processes that utilize it, and the ways in which those theories can assign responsibility and liability for damage or harm that may result from the use of artificial intelligence.  Attendees can then evaluate whether those causes of action are sufficient, or if additional laws are needed to address ethical issues arising from artificial intelligence, and, the related question of if regulation is needed, whether it should be at the federal or state level, or if the industries that use artificial intelligence should take the opportunity to regulate themselves as a way to minimize the potential scope of government regulation.

Are you working on anything exciting at the moment that you’d like to share with our readers?

I’m going to be giving a presentation as part of Sudha Jamthe’s autonomous vehicles class at Stanford University in May.  This is the second year that I’ll be a member of the faculty for Sudha’s class and I’m looking forward to hearing her insights on autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things.  I’m also working on a presentation on the data privacy and security issues associated with biometrics, facial recognition, and autonomous vehicles that I’ll be giving at the New York State Cybersecurity Conference in June.  I’m a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Technology and the Legal Profession Committee and look forward to representing the Committee at the conference.

What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in tech or law?

My advice to women who want to pursue a career in technology or law is to believe in yourself at all times; be persistent and focused on your goals; and let setbacks fuel your ambitions and determination, rather than discourage you.

Women of Silicon Roundabout California

Unite with tech superheroes like Gail Gottehrer at Women of Silicon Valley 2019

Taking place over 2 daysWomen of Silicon Valley boasts over 50 sessions100 speakers, and 1,500 attendees. Be inspired by the ecosystem's most influential women in technology, network with like-minded female founders, liaise with top Silicon Valley tech companies and enhance your skills portfolio in a thought-provoking atmosphere. Don't miss out!

We're 2 weeks away from Women of Silicon Valley, book now!


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