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Bryant Walker Smith

Bryant Walker Smith

Keynote Speaker: Expert on Legal Aspects of Emerging Technologies; Leading Authority on the Law of Self-Driving Vehicles; University of South Carolina Law Professor

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Bryant Walker Smith Biography

Drones. Robots. Self-driving cars. These emerging technologies are exciting and scary. Along with other innovations that have yet to capture the public’s imagination, they have the potential to transform society, culture, governance and the economy. This is a transformation full of uncertainty, including fundamental questions of risk, responsibility and authority. As a lawyer and an engineer, Bryant Walker Smith is helping the world navigate all that is “newly possible.”

For Smith, self-driving vehicles exemplify the promise and peril of today’s innovation. An assistant professor of law and (by courtesy) engineering at the University of South Carolina, he has earned a global reputation as an expert on the law of these vehicles. He taught the first-ever course on the topic, published an influential analysis of the legality of automated driving, and is regularly consulted by government, industry and media.

Smith – who is also an affiliate scholar at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society and chair of the Emerging Technology Law Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies – also looks beyond any single innovation to understand the larger relationship between law and technology. For example, he argues in “Proximity-Driven Liability” that over-the-air updates, customer tracking, and end-user license agreements could increase the liability of manufacturers and other sellers. Smith’s other publications are at newlypossible.org.

Before joining the University of South Carolina, Smith led the legal aspects of automated driving program at Stanford University, clerked for the Hon. Evan J. Wallach at the United States Court of International Trade, and worked as a fellow at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

A member of the New York Bar, Smith holds both an LL.M. in International Legal Studies and a J.D. (cum laude) from New York University School of Law and a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to his legal career, Smith worked as a transportation engineer.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Bryant Walker Smith and other top speakers and celebrities.

Bryant Walker Smith Speaking Topics

The Law of the Newly Possible

Technology affects law. Law affects technology. The relationship between the two goes both ways, and is an ongoing process that deserves study – and discussion – in and of itself, says Professor Bryant Walker Smith, particularly as emerging and new technologies will continue to come into tension with the law seemingly every day. He examines how law responds to, incorporates, and affects the development of new technologies. He also addresses questions of risk and regulation from both public and private perspectives, and considers a range of currently emerging technologies (automated vehicles, drones, robots), as well as historic innovations (the railroad) that offer insights into anticipating and resolving key legal and policy tensions.

How Much is Your Life Worth?

It’s a question that regulators, judges, juries, managers, engineers and researchers confront every day – and they arrive at answers that are simultaneously perplexing yet remarkably consistent. But why and how does this matter? Drawing from a popular class he teaches every year, Professor Bryant Walker Smith brings valuation from the shadows into the spotlight through anecdotes and analysis. He explores how we value life for the purposes of design, benefit analysis, agency rulemaking, litigation and awarding of damages, and the implications of the numbers we put worth. It affects whether a rule happens or doesn’t. Whether a company installs a part or doesn’t. If that same company gets in trouble for not installing that part years later. Whether people who drive ARE in a position to compensate those they may injure. It all comes back to the value of life.

Two Worlds Become One: Helping Lawyers and Engineers Speak the Same Language

They seemingly operate in disparate worlds. They regard one another with equal parts fascination and trepidation. But both lawyers and engineers have a great deal in common, says Professor Bryant Walker Smith (he should know – he’s both), and it’s time they come together and recognize the value of “speaking the same language.” Both professions work with clients to achieve a goal with certain tools (law; science) and certain constraints (ethics; physics), he explains. Both professions emphasize process and fundamentally address reasonableness, and the ability to understand and go between disciplines is important. But Professor Smith also cautions that some words – including control and efficiency – can have different meanings in different domains. Ultimately, lawyers and engineers will help themselves and their clients by knowing when and how to turn to their counterparts. This talk is directed not only at the professionals, but also at the leaders who rely on them.

Decoding Perception vs. Reality: Cyber Security and the Law

Will today’s online theft become tomorrow’s online sabotage? As the digital and physical worlds become inextricably intertwined – on the road, in the sky, in the home and even in our bodies – the destructive potential of cyber attacks is likely to grow. This means that public anxiety could undermine the technologies that could save and improve lives. Professor Bryant Walker Smith decodes the risk perception versus the reality while introducing and exploring the current and future legal frameworks for cyber security, including civil and criminal liability. For example, how do we regulate the security of computer systems? And who is liable for the failures of those systems? The fact is the systems will never be perfect. Professor Smith asks – and answers – the questions that arise as a result: how should the inevitable lawsuits be managed? What are the courts likely to do? How are regulators likely to respond? How should the law evolve to address? This talk is important for both public and private actors as Professor Smith helps all of us understand how to better manage liability and risk – before rather than after the next attack.

Liability in an Age of Automation and Connectivity

Products are no longer static; they’re constantly changing. Technology “systems” – in our homes, our bodies, on the road – are consistently communicating with the companies that created them, remotely monitoring user activity and delivering product updates. Remote updates, end-user license agreements and digital rights management are just a few of the ways companies are dramatically expanding their information about, access to, and control over the products they make and sell. But with great power comes great responsibility, cautions Professor Bryant Walker Smith. He explains why this is, and explores the ways in which companies could incur new obligations and liabilities toward the people who use or are injured by their products. He also explains how the uncertainty caused in part by evolving notions of responsibility could actually drive companies to further embrace these service-oriented business models. While technology evolves so too must the business models and legal tools.

Bryant Walker Smith Videos

Two Routes to Fully Automated Driving | BRYANT WALKER SMITH ...
Liability and Automated Vehicles | BRYANT WALKER SMITH | Fleet ...
the Road Vehicle Automation Conference - Bryant Walker Smith

How to book Bryant Walker Smith?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Bryant Walker Smith for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Bryant Walker Smith, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Bryant Walker Smith or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Bryant Walker Smith?

Booking fees for Bryant Walker Smith, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Bryant Walker Smith, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Bryant Walker Smith?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Bryant Walker Smith for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Bryant Walker Smith for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Bryant Walker Smith or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Bryant Walker Smith or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Bryant Walker Smith is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Futurism, Technology and Computer Science. The estimated speaking fee range to book Bryant Walker Smith for live events is $10,000 - $20,000. Please contact us for virtual event fees. Bryant Walker Smith generally travels from Columbia, SC, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Pablos Holman, FC (Freaky Clown) and Raffaello D'Andrea. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Bryant Walker Smith for an upcoming event.

Bryant Walker Smith Speaking Topics

  • The Law of the Newly Possible

    Technology affects law. Law affects technology. The relationship between the two goes both ways, and is an ongoing process that deserves study – and discussion – in and of itself, says Professor Bryant Walker Smith, particularly as emerging and new technologies will continue to come into tension with the law seemingly every day. He examines how law responds to, incorporates, and affects the development of new technologies. He also addresses questions of risk and regulation from both public and private perspectives, and considers a range of currently emerging technologies (automated vehicles, drones, robots), as well as historic innovations (the railroad) that offer insights into anticipating and resolving key legal and policy tensions.

  • How Much is Your Life Worth?

    It’s a question that regulators, judges, juries, managers, engineers and researchers confront every day – and they arrive at answers that are simultaneously perplexing yet remarkably consistent. But why and how does this matter? Drawing from a popular class he teaches every year, Professor Bryant Walker Smith brings valuation from the shadows into the spotlight through anecdotes and analysis. He explores how we value life for the purposes of design, benefit analysis, agency rulemaking, litigation and awarding of damages, and the implications of the numbers we put worth. It affects whether a rule happens or doesn’t. Whether a company installs a part or doesn’t. If that same company gets in trouble for not installing that part years later. Whether people who drive ARE in a position to compensate those they may injure. It all comes back to the value of life.

  • Two Worlds Become One: Helping Lawyers and Engineers Speak the Same Language

    They seemingly operate in disparate worlds. They regard one another with equal parts fascination and trepidation. But both lawyers and engineers have a great deal in common, says Professor Bryant Walker Smith (he should know – he’s both), and it’s time they come together and recognize the value of “speaking the same language.” Both professions work with clients to achieve a goal with certain tools (law; science) and certain constraints (ethics; physics), he explains. Both professions emphasize process and fundamentally address reasonableness, and the ability to understand and go between disciplines is important. But Professor Smith also cautions that some words – including control and efficiency – can have different meanings in different domains. Ultimately, lawyers and engineers will help themselves and their clients by knowing when and how to turn to their counterparts. This talk is directed not only at the professionals, but also at the leaders who rely on them.

  • Decoding Perception vs. Reality: Cyber Security and the Law

    Will today’s online theft become tomorrow’s online sabotage? As the digital and physical worlds become inextricably intertwined – on the road, in the sky, in the home and even in our bodies – the destructive potential of cyber attacks is likely to grow. This means that public anxiety could undermine the technologies that could save and improve lives. Professor Bryant Walker Smith decodes the risk perception versus the reality while introducing and exploring the current and future legal frameworks for cyber security, including civil and criminal liability. For example, how do we regulate the security of computer systems? And who is liable for the failures of those systems? The fact is the systems will never be perfect. Professor Smith asks – and answers – the questions that arise as a result: how should the inevitable lawsuits be managed? What are the courts likely to do? How are regulators likely to respond? How should the law evolve to address? This talk is important for both public and private actors as Professor Smith helps all of us understand how to better manage liability and risk – before rather than after the next attack.

  • Liability in an Age of Automation and Connectivity

    Products are no longer static; they’re constantly changing. Technology “systems” – in our homes, our bodies, on the road – are consistently communicating with the companies that created them, remotely monitoring user activity and delivering product updates. Remote updates, end-user license agreements and digital rights management are just a few of the ways companies are dramatically expanding their information about, access to, and control over the products they make and sell. But with great power comes great responsibility, cautions Professor Bryant Walker Smith. He explains why this is, and explores the ways in which companies could incur new obligations and liabilities toward the people who use or are injured by their products. He also explains how the uncertainty caused in part by evolving notions of responsibility could actually drive companies to further embrace these service-oriented business models. While technology evolves so too must the business models and legal tools.

Bryant Walker Smith Videos

Two Routes to Fully Automated Driving | BRYANT WALKER SMITH ...
Liability and Automated Vehicles | BRYANT WALKER SMITH | Fleet ...
the Road Vehicle Automation Conference - Bryant Walker Smith
Bryant Walker Smith of Univ. of South Carolina discusses driverless ...

Bryant Walker Smith News

  • Are We On the Right Road to Automated Driving?

    Our cars are getting smarter. They dictate (and recalculate) directions, sync with our phones, help us park or switch lanes, and brake if we don’t before it’s too late. The fact that more than 70 percent of car buyers prefer vehicles with such advanced, autonomous features indicates a significant shift in the industry. But are we ready to hand over the keys to technology and share the road with self-driving vehicles?

How to book Bryant Walker Smith?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Bryant Walker Smith for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Bryant Walker Smith, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Bryant Walker Smith or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Bryant Walker Smith?

Booking fees for Bryant Walker Smith, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Bryant Walker Smith, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Bryant Walker Smith?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Bryant Walker Smith for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Bryant Walker Smith for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Bryant Walker Smith or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Bryant Walker Smith or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Bryant Walker Smith is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Futurism, Technology and Computer Science. The estimated speaking fee range to book Bryant Walker Smith for live events is $10,000 - $20,000. Please contact us for virtual event fees. Bryant Walker Smith generally travels from Columbia, SC, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Pablos Holman, FC (Freaky Clown) and Raffaello D'Andrea. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Bryant Walker Smith for an upcoming event.

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