Orme receives honorable mention in essay competition

University of Utah law graduate Kylie Orme has received an honorable mention in an essay competition sponsored by the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights Coalition.

Orme, who graduated in May, was recognized for her essay titled ““Mr. Robot: Morality, AI, and Personhood.”  The essay was about the idea of robot technology progressing and humans allowing them more control of daily life through examples such as self-driving cars, delivery drones, automated fast-food orders, etc.

“The premise of the article is that two main issues arise. First, who will we blame when something goes wrong? Second, a decision-making robot falls squarely between machine and man, so where does that leave us both legally and morally?” said Orme.

“Regulation and policy must be contemplated, if not implemented, regarding both of these issues,” she said.

During law school, Orme was a member of the Utah Law Review and was a fellow at the Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences. She plans to pursue a career in health law, specifically working with the law as applicable to innovative biotechnology. She is working full-time for Snow, Christensen & Martineau and in January 2018 she will take a leave to clerk for Judge David N. Mortensen of the Utah Court of Appeals.

The coalition announced the winners of its fourth annual student essay competition earlier this month.  The competition was open to undergraduate and graduate students, who were invited to write an essay on any topic at the intersection of science, technology and human rights.

Sixty-six students from 32 different countries entered the competition. The essays covered a wide range of topics at the intersection of science of human rights, including reproductive technologies, food security, artificial intelligence, data privacy, and access to water.  The winners will be recognized at the July 27, 2017 Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Graduate Student Category:


Miriam Aczel, Imperial College London
Essay Title: “Fracking and Human Rights: Using a Rights-Based Framework to Regulate a New Technology”


Kylie Orme, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
Essay Title: “Mr. Robot: Morality, AI, and Personhood”

Undergraduate Student Category:


Church Lieu, California State University – Los Angeles
Essay Title: “The Augmentation Gap”


Elaine Huang, Lafayette College
Essay Title: “Doomed to Digital Dependence? Children in the Age of Persuasive Technology”