Artificial Intelligence: Technology and Law (FS22)

Machines are increasingly capable of performing tasks considered to require “intelligence” if performed by human beings. Recent developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are fueled by novel data processing technologies, ever growing amounts of data, and increased computing power. AI systems come with great promises and opportunities, but they also raise concerns in many respects and they pose significant challenges to the application of today’s legal order. Accordingly, regulators around the globe are currently investigating if and how the law should be adapted to meet these challenges.

This course provides participants with an interdisciplinary view on AI by focusing on the capabilities of AI systems and the regulatory as well as technical responses in Switzerland and Europe. In doing so, it also highlights some of the fundamental differences in preventing undesired outcomes in law and computer science and challenges all participants to reflect on practical solutions for the future.

Important Information: The number of students that can take this class is limited. Please pre-register by 7 March 2022 by email to indicating your full name, matriculation no., UZH mail address and your field of study (both major and minor, should your program have both). Note that you will not have to book the course via the normal course booking tool within the deadlines of the faculty of law.

Introduction Event

On Thursday, 24 February 2022 (10:15 –11:45 am), Prof. Abraham Bernstein, Ph.D., and Prof. Dr. Florent Thouvenin will give an introduction to the objectives of the course and its schedule. They will also highlight the most relevant opportunities and challenges associated with AI from a legal and a technical perspective. This event will be held online via Teams (the link will be published here).

Groups and Topics

Each student has to provide a summary of his/her personal profile and topics of interest (half page, incl. contact details) by Monday, 7 March 2022 at the latest (instructions/link will follow here). The profiles will be made available to all participants in a folder via Teams. On Thursday, 10 March 2022 (10:15 am – open end) each student will very shortly present her/himself (name, fields of study, reason to choose this course, and topics of interest). Each presentation should last no longer than one minute. Following the presentation, all students will be able to discuss and exchange ideas in small groups and to define topics they want to work on in a group consisting of both computer scientists and lawyers. This should allow all students to form or join a group. All groups must be interdisciplinary and should consist of 3-4 students.

On Thursday, 24 March 2022 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) the groups will present their ideas for a potential paper/artifact during class (max. 5 minutes per group). All groups will get a short feedback on their idea from the professors. Based on these presentations the final assignment of groups/topics will take place in class and/or afterwards. All groups will have to communicate their team members (who: a list of all team members including their major and, if available, minor field of studies) and their topic (what: title, abstract, and project type—paper or artifact—not more than ½ page) to by Thursday, 31 March 2022 at the latest.

On Wednesday, 13 April 2022 (8:00 am – 10:00 am and 11.00 am – 12.00 pm) there will be time for an optional exchange with the professors to discuss issues and clarify questions that came up in the course of developing the papers/artifacts. Groups are requested to book a time slot prior to the meet-up by sending an email to by Monday, 11 April 2022 at the latest.


Papers/Artifacts and Summaries

Each group will work on a cross-disciplinary AI project and write-up a paper or provide other scientific output (“artifacts”) on a technical and legal AI challenge (e.g., develop a website, wiki, app, interactive analysis, or the like).

Papers must be no longer than 10,000 words. If you provide an artifact, the paper can be much shorter. Please indicate the number of words on the front page of your paper.

The deadline for handing in the papers/artifacts is Friday, 13 May 2022. The papers must be sent to by 11:59 pm of 13 May 2022 at the very latest. (Please note that lawyers are very serious about deadlines). Groups that build an artifact should provide a short description of the problem they wanted to solve, describe the solution they provided including, if available, a link to the solution, explain the rationale for the specific solution design chosen, and possibly succinctly discuss how they evaluated their solution.

By Monday 16 May 2022 (11:59 pm) each group will have to deliver a summary of their paper/artifact (one page) to The summaries will be sent to all participants and all participants are required to read all summaries to be able to participate in the discussion at the workshop. In addition, we will assign one paper/artifact of another group to each group and request them to comment on the other groups work as a discussant peer group at the workshop.



The workshop will take place on Friday, 27 May 2022 (all day) and Saturday, 28 May 2022 (all day). The attendance at the workshop is mandatory.

We will put together a tentative schedule for the workshop (please stay flexible timewise).

Each group will have 20 min to present their paper/artifact. The discussant peer group will then have 10 min to raise their comments and questions. These presentations will be followed by 30 min of discussion. Please keep in mind that you must have read all the summaries to be able to participate in the discussion on an informed basis.

In addition to the paper/artifact, the grading will also be based on the group presentation, the presentation of the comments and questions when discussing the other group’s work, as well as the participation in the discussion. Please note that we will grade the group as a whole; there will be no individual grading.

On Friday, 27 May 2022, we will begin at 9:00 a.m., have a lunch break at around 12:30 pm, reconvene at 2:00 pm, and end at approximately 5:00 pm.

On Saturday, 28 May 2022, we will start at 9:00 on Saturday, take a short lunch break at around 12:30 pm, start again at 1:00 pm and end at approximately 4:00 pm.




Thursday, 24 February 2022,10:15-11:45 am

Pre-Registration and handing in of personal profile

Monday, 7 March 2022, 11:59 pm

Groups and Topics (intro)

Thursday, 10 March 2022, 10:15 am - open end

on Microsoft Teams

Groups and Topics (presentation)

Thursday, 24 March 2022, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Handing in of groups and topics

Thursday, 31 March 2022, 11:59 pm

Optional exchange with instructors Wednesday, 13 April 2022, 8:00 am – 10:00 am and 11.00 am – 12.00 pm

Handing in of papers/artifacts

Friday, 13 May 2022, 11:59 pm

Handing in of summaries

Monday, 16 May 2022, 11:59 pm


Friday, 27 May 2022 (all day)
Saturday, 28 May 2022 (all day)

The event will take place at the following address: 

UZH Digital Society Initiative (DSI)
Eventraum / SOC-E-010
Rämistrasse 69
CH-8001 Zürich


The slides will be provided here after the respective lectures.


Examples (from previous courses 'Big Data: Technology and Law':

Example Paper 0 (PDF, 4 MB)

Example Paper 1 (PDF, 300 KB)

Example Website