Chatbots and Conversational AI used by Public Entities: a Legal Perspective

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Date: 4 December 2023 / 10:30 - 11:30

USI East Campus, Room D2.19

Speaker: Marco Fontana, University of Pisa

Abstract: Public authorities use tools based on artificial intelligence technologies to interact with citizens. Chatbots and virtual assistants can be employed to help users in finding the correct information on a website, or to channel the queries of the public to the competent office. Generative, conversational chatbots may also be able to offer clarifications on specific cases and explain rules adapting their response to different types of users, similarly to what is normally done by public employees. The use of such automated technologies implies, however, some risks that need to be addressed from a legal point of view. This seminar will discuss some examples of the possible use of conversational technologies used by public authorities and the legal problems that they may pose, considering specifically the EU general data protection regulation (GDPR) and the draft of the EU AI Act.

Biography: Marco Fontana is a Ph.D. student in law at the University of Pisa. His fields of research are administrative law, economic public law, and legal technology. His research project focuses on the possible use and legal issues of existing computational technologies, based mostly on machine learning algorithms, to improve the means with which public authorities provide information to citizens and users. He graduated in law at the University of Milan and was admitted to the Milan Bar Association, actively practicing law before starting his Ph.D. program. He is also collaborating with the Polytechnic University of Milan in administrative, public procurement and data protection law courses.

Host: prof. Fabio Crestani