WSU Common Reading presents Kimberly A. Houser on the legal consequences of VR and AI Feb. 26

February 22, 2018

Pullman, Wash.­–­­­­­­­ Kimberly A. Houser, a technology attorney and WSU business law professor, will present “Legal Issues with Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence” at 4:00 p.m. Mon., Feb. 26, in CUE 202, as part of WSU’s Common Reading Program. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Houser researches and presents on the legal aspects of new technologies and privacy law. She made national headlines in fall of 2017 for her study examining ways that the IRS is breaking privacy laws by mining data from social media and public data pools. In this presentation Houser will talk about how the fast-paced developments in the largely unregulated fields of VR and AI lead to gaps in the law.

Virtual reality is a computerized scenario that gives the feeling of being real, while artificial intelligence simulates human intelligence through machines, primarily computer systems. Among the questions Houser raises are the legal ramifications of replacing human decision-making with machines.

Houser participated at Sci Foo 2018, which is an annual scientific conference organized by Google, Inc., She will also present at South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas in March on her artificial intelligence and privacy law research. Houser’s publications include the book “Legal Guide to Social Media.”

The WSU-wide common reading program is exploring the theme of “frontiers of technology, health, and society.” This year’s book, Ready Player One, highlights applications of technology in a variety of fields but also encourages students to explore ethical dilemmas and changing senses of identity that arise in an increasingly digital world.

The Common Reading began in 2006-07 in Pullman. It helps students, their teachers, and the community better engage in academically centered critical thinking, communication, research, and learning around a body of shared information, as presented in a single, specially selected book.

MEDIA: Karen Weathermon, WSU Common Reading Program co-director, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-5488,

Jordan Maxwell, Communications and Marketing Associate, WSU Undergraduate Education,