Meet MoFo’s Diverse AI + Robotics Lawyers: Cecillia Xie

Cecillia Xie is a litigation associate in MoFo’s New York office. Her practice focuses on advising clients across various sectors on privacy and cybersecurity issues in mergers and acquisitions, and other transactions. As part of the Diverse in Practice series, we asked Cecillia about working cross-functionally with the Artificial Intelligence + Robotics Group, and how the team’s unique voices and perspectives are driving outstanding client outcomes.

What was it that initially drew you to AI and robotics law?
I have a background in economics, so I was drawn to the questions in AI that intersect with issues in econometrics. AI is sometimes touted as the solution to implicit biases and discrimination, but it’s far from a perfect methodology. Machine learning replicates and depends on the initial inputs, and if implicit biases are present in the input sample set, the algorithm will continue to replicate those biases. I like AI’s potential for the public good, but I also like the interesting problems it poses in implementation, as it could just as easily be a tool to justify perpetuating existing systems.

How does the field of AI and robotics intersect with, or improve upon, similar practice areas?
Because it is a relatively new field, AI has interesting intersections with IP and privacy, which center around ownership of ideas/creations and personal information, respectively. AI takes us one step further in inquiring about the makeup and ownership of large information sets containing both ideas/creations and personal information. Particularly, as privacy laws develop around the world, it will pose interesting questions for the use of AI, such as what types of personal information can be used in machine learning algorithms and what rights individuals should have with respect to algorithms that use their personal information to advertise to them, to extend or decline loans to them, and even to decide whether to employ them.

Do you have any advice for the next generation of aspiring diverse lawyers who might be interested in the field?
Stay curious! The exciting part of new fields of practice such as AI + Robotics is that laws, market practices, and public sentiment are constantly changing as stakeholders try to figure out a workable equilibrium among all interests. If you’re willing to incorporate new perspectives and developments into your practice and periodically revise your thinking, you’ll be well-equipped to work in this dynamic practice area.

Learn more about MoFo’s commitment to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse attorneys here.