Published: May 2, 2024 By

On April 19, the Byron White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law and the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Policy and Entrepreneurship hosted the 32nd Annual Rothgerber Conference on AI and the Constitution. This year’s conference was one of the first of its kind to focus on prevalent issues at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and the Constitution. Interdisciplinary scholars, scientists, lawyers and students from around the world gathered at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder to discuss recent AI developments and the impact on the right to privacy, free speech under the First Amendment, and judicial panelists

Byron White Center Director and Law Professor, Suzette Malveaux, opened the conference, noting the timely and imperative nature of the topic. Given the power of AI and the recent diminishment of fundamental rights under the Constitution, she emphasized the importance of getting ahead of the curve by bringing together experts to grapple with cutting edge issues at the intersection of tech and constitutional law.

The conference started off strong with Professor of Law and Silicon Flatrions Artificial Intelligence Initiative Director, Harry Surden, delivering the keynote address on the development and more recent explosion of generative Artificial Intelligence. Professor Surden shared recent updates and key limitations of generative AI, while also demonstrating how Chat GPT4 can empower and be used responsibly in the law. Following the keynote, Colorado Law Review Executive Editor, Natalie Tiggleman, introduced the AI and Privacy Panel, moderated by Professor Malveaux.  Law Professors Paul Ohm (Georgetown), Christine Goodman (Pepperdine Caruso), Spencer Overton (George Washington), and Scott Skinner-Thompson (University of Colorado) held a lively and interactive discussion about the various ways privacy interests are implicated, in areas such as hiring practices, voting access, and data security.  

Professor Surden moderated the second panel discussion, which explored how AI can be used in judicial interpretation of the Constitution and other legal documents. Panelists, Dr. Megan Ma (Stanford) and Law Professors Andrew Coan (Arizona), Vivek Krishnamurthy (University of Colorado), and Yonathan Arbel (Alabama), shared how AI has immense potential to challenge interpretive approaches to constitutional law, while still being approachable and beneficial for practical uses, such as increasing attorney productivity which benefits clients. The final panel focused on AI speech and the First Amendment. Professor Blake Reid, Director of the Telecom and Platforms Initiative at Silicon Flatirons, moderated this fascinating discussion with Dr. Newton Campbell (AROSE), Law Professor Helen Norton (University of Colorado), Law Professor April Dawson (NC Central), and Business Professor Eric Alston (University of Colorado). This panel considered the thorny question of whether AI speech—potentially equal to or superior to human speech—is protected under the First Amendment.speaker at conferencespeaker at conference

Devin Schultze ‘25, Editor in Chief of the Colorado Law Review, expressed her excitement about the conference: “It was really amazing to witness conversations between lawyers and non-lawyers regarding their thoughts on AI and how it impacts individual rights. That was such a cool component to have two separate disciplines come together and hear the discourse that AI and the Constitution creates.”

Many of the remarkable speakers featured at the Rothgerber Conference on AI and the Constitution will be publishing their scholarship in an upcoming special Symposium issue of the Colorado Law Review. Watch the full conference here, and view more photos in our flickr gallery.