Research, Articles and Interviews

Research conducted by Risk Economics® and its principals, as well as as articles and interviews featuring Risk Economics.

David Mordecai, Samantha Kappagoda and John Shin Co-Authored Article “Objects May be Closer Than They Appear” in ABA SciTech Lawyer

David Mordecai, Samantha Kappagoda and John Shin Co-Authored Article “Objects May be Closer Than They Appear” in ABA SciTech Lawyer

David K.A. Mordecai, Samantha Kappagoda and John Y. Shin co-authored an article published in the Unintended Consequences (Fall 2022) Issue of the American Bar Association (ABA) SciTech Lawyer. The article is entitled Uncertainty and Reliability Implications of Computer Vision Depth Estimation for Vehicular Collision Avoidance and Navigation (Part 1 of 2).

Recent events accompanying increased adoption of machine learning applications of computer vision to safety-critical use-cases for cyberphysical systems has sharpened focus on the necessity of risk mitigation, reliability, safety, and security. An emergent risk domain across embedded cyberphysical systems involves the proliferation of camera-based autonomous driver assistance and vehicular navigation systems and the application of computer vision technology to perform the complex tasks of depth estimation, as well as object detection and image recognition. The first installment in this series will primarily focus on depth estimation tasks associated with operating and environmental conditions as well as spatial and temporal scales generally applicable to highway, rural and suburban settings.

ABA SciTech Lawyer endeavors to provide information related to current developments in law, science, medicine, and technology of professional interest to members of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law.

Mordecai and Kappagoda are active members of the ABA Science and Technology (SciTech) Law Section. Ms. Kappagoda has been newly appointed as Vice-Chair of the Big Data Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Internet of Things Committee. She was reappointed, and continues to serve as Vice-Chair of the Insurance Technology and Risk Committee since 2019. Dr. Mordecai has been reappointed as Chair of the Space Law Committee, and Co-Chair of the Nanotechnology Committee, and previously also served as Vice-Chair of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics from 2018 to 2022.

In addition, Dr. Mordecai has been an invited speaker at the AI & Robotics Institute in both 2021 and 2020. Both Kappagoda and Mordecai were invited speakers at the 2019 American Bar Association Annual Meeting and 34th Intellectual Property Law Conference (ABA-IPL) in Crystal City, Virginia.  Dr. Mordecai previously authored the article Automated Personal Assistants with Multiple Principals: Whose Agent Is It? in the Winter 2020 edition of ABA SciTech Lawyer.

Dr. Mordecai and Ms. Kappagoda are President and Chief Economist, respectively, of Risk Economics, Inc. Dr Mordecai is also Adjunct Professor of Econometrics and Statistics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences NYU, advising research at RiskEcon® Lab @ Courant Institute. Ms. Kappagoda is also Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences NYU, co-advising research at RiskEcon® Lab @ Courant Institute. Mr. Shin is Senior Research Associate (Enumeration Evaluation Lead) at Numerati Partners.

Legal Tech News Features David K.A. Mordecai as an Invited Panelist at ABA SciTech AI and Robotics National Institute

Legal Tech News Features David K.A. Mordecai as an Invited Panelist at ABA SciTech AI and Robotics National Institute

Legal Tech News featured Dr. David K.A. Mordecai as an invited panelist at the American Bar Association (ABA) SciTech Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics National Institutes Conference, which was held on October 12-13, 2021.

David K.A. Mordecai and his co-panelists discussed ways in which data supply-chain activities might incur liability related to data acquisition, curation, warehousing, use, dissemination and agency. During the panel discussion, Dr. Mordecai highlighted the roles of statistics, economics and digital forensics for analyzing risk and liability exposure of data acquisition, collection and curation, to mitigate data and algorithmic bias and corresponding liability exposure, and noted “You cannot regulate something that you do not understand.”

David Mordecai currently serves as Chair of the Nanotechnology Committee, Vice-Chair of the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Committee and Co-Chair of the Space Law Committee, of the ABA Science & Technology Law Section. Dr. Mordecai is President and Co-Founder of Risk Economics and Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences NYU, co-advising research activities at RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics @ Courant Institute.

Legal Tech News Features David K.A. Mordecai as an Invited Panelist at ABA SciTech AI and Robotics National Institute

About Risk Economics
Risk Economics provides advisory services at the intersection of commercial business-process engineering and risk engineering with a particular focus on coupling commercial reinsurance and financial technology, through the rigorous application of agent-based, demographic, and statistical methodologies to microeconomic and macroeconomic analytics. The Risk Economics® client roster is diverse and includes governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, global insurance and reinsurance firms, leading law firms, technology firms, global banking institutions, asset management firms, multinational corporations with interests in natural resources, commodities and energy, as well as government agencies and regulators.

Data Science Community Newsletter Features Critical Contribution by Risk Economics® to Colorado Attorney General’s Findings

Data Science Community Newsletter Features Critical Contribution by Risk Economics to Colorado Attorney General’s Findings that Aurora Police Department Engages in Racially Biased Policing

The October 7, 2021 Issue of the Data Science Community Newsletter (DSCN) featured the critical contribution made by Risk Economics to the Colorado Attorney General’s findings that Aurora Colorado Police Department engages in racially biased policing.

In 2020, the Attorney General of Colorado (AG), Philip J. Weiser, appointed a team to investigate whether the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue had exhibited a pattern and practice of violating state and federal law. The investigation, the first of its kind under Senate Bill 217 (a law enforcement accountability bill enacted in the summer of 2020 in the wake of large-scale protests against police brutality following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer), focused on police stops, arrests, uses of force, and possible discrimination in enforcement activities conducted by the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue.

Dr. David K. A. Mordecai and Samantha Kappagoda of Risk Economics worked closely with a team from Compass Lexecon which included Michael Kwak, Mihir Gokhale, Noah Mathews, and Peter Horvath, and conducted extensive statistical and empirical analyses of data retrieved from the Aurora Police Department related to police interactions, arrests and uses of force. The technical appendix prepared by the Risk Economics/Compass Lexecon analytics team presented statistical evidence of disproportionate and disparate police interactions, arrests, and uses of force incidents involving people of color, and particularly Black people, relative to white people in the City of Aurora. Based on this work, the Colorado AG investigation team concluded that “[They] observed statistically significant racial disparities — especially with respect to Black individuals — in nearly every important type of police contact with the community, from interactions to arrests to uses of force,” and that “[t]hese disparities persisted across income, gender and geographic boundaries.” This evidence played a critical role in supporting the findings of the AG investigation that Aurora Police engages in racially biased policing, treating people of color (and Black people in particular) differently from their white counterparts.

As a result of these findings, Attorney General Philip J. Weiser is pursuing a legally binding consent decree with the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue outlining the steps his office believes necessary to remediate and mitigate deficiencies uncovered by the investigation.

The investigative report and its findings have been mentioned by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian (UK), among others.

The statement by the Colorado AG to the press on September 15, 2021 can be viewed here.

The related press release and a link to the investigative report and technical appendix can be accessed here.

Data Science Community Newsletter Features Critical Contribution by Risk Economics® to Colorado Attorney General’s Findings

David Mordecai is President and Co-Founder of Risk Economics, and Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences NYU, advising research activities at RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics @ Courant Institute. Samantha Kappagoda is Chief Economist and Co-Founder of Risk Economics, and Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute, co-advising research activities at RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics @ Courant Institute.


About Risk Economics
Risk Economics provides advisory services at the intersection of commercial business-process engineering and risk engineering with a particular focus on coupling commercial reinsurance and financial technology, through the rigorous application of agent-based, demographic, and statistical methodologies to microeconomic and macroeconomic analytics.

Risk Economics Makes Critical Contribution to Colorado Attorney General’s Findings that Aurora Police Department Engages in Racially Biased Policing

Risk Economics Makes Critical Contribution to Colorado Attorney General’s Findings that Aurora Police Department Engages in Racially Biased Policing

In 2020, the Attorney General of Colorado (AG), Philip J. Weiser, appointed a team to investigate whether the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue had exhibited a pattern and practice of violating state and federal law. The investigation, the first of its kind under Senate Bill 217 (a law enforcement accountability bill enacted in the summer of 2020 in the wake of large-scale protests against police brutality following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer), focused on police stops, arrests, uses of force, and possible discrimination in enforcement activities conducted by the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue.

Dr. David K. A. Mordecai and Samantha Kappagoda of Risk Economics worked closely with a team from Compass Lexecon which included Michael Kwak, Mihir Gokhale, Noah Mathews, and Peter Horvath, and conducted extensive statistical and empirical analyses of data retrieved from the Aurora Police Department related to police interactions, arrests and uses of force. The technical appendix prepared by the Risk Economics/Compass Lexecon analytics team presented statistical evidence of disproportionate and disparate police interactions, arrests, and uses of force incidents involving people of color, and particularly Black people, relative to white people in the City of Aurora. Based on this work, the Colorado AG investigation team concluded that “[They] observed statistically significant racial disparities — especially with respect to Black individuals — in nearly every important type of police contact with the community, from interactions to arrests to uses of force,” and that “[t]hese disparities persisted across income, gender and geographic boundaries.” This evidence played a critical role in supporting the findings of the AG investigation that Aurora Police engages in racially biased policing, treating people of color (and Black people in particular) differently from their white counterparts.

As a result of these findings, Attorney General Philip J. Weiser is pursuing a legally binding consent decree with the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue outlining the steps his office believes necessary to remediate and mitigate deficiencies uncovered by the investigation.

The investigative report and its findings have been mentioned by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian (UK), among others.

The statement by the Colorado AG to the press on September 15, 2021 can be viewed here.

The related press release and a link to the investigative report and technical appendix can be accessed here.

Risk Economics® Makes Critical Contribution to Colorado Attorney General’s Findings that Aurora Police Department Engages in Racially Biased Policing

David Mordecai is President and Co-Founder of Risk Economics, and Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences NYU, advising research activities at RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics @ Courant Institute. Samantha Kappagoda is Chief Economist and Co-Founder of Risk Economics, and Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute, co-advising research activities at RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics @ Courant Institute.

About Risk Economics
Risk Economics provides advisory services at the intersection of commercial business-process engineering and risk engineering with a particular focus on coupling commercial reinsurance and financial technology, through the rigorous application of agent-based, demographic, and statistical methodologies to microeconomic and macroeconomic analytics.

Compass Lexecon

Samantha Kappagoda was Interviewed for Compass Lexecon International Women’s Day 2021 Advice from Leading Women Video

Samantha Kappagoda, Chief Economist and Co-Founder of Risk Economics was interviewed for Compass Lexecon’s International Women’s Day 2021 Advice from Leading Women video.  In honor of International Women’s Day 2021 Compass Lexecon interviewed several high-profile, successful women to provide advice to other women based on their careers and professional experiences. 

In addition to Samantha Kappagoda, other interviewees included:

  • Amelia Fletcher, Professor of Competition Policy, Nottingham Business School and Deputy Director at the Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia
  • Christine Wilson, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Andrea Kramer, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
  • Jessica Yellen, Former Chief White House Correspondent, CNN
  • Penelope Papandropoulos, Cabinet Member, DG Comp, European Commission
  • Christa Davies, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, AON
  • Christine Varney, Chair of Antitrust Practice, Cravath and Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust
  • Bianna Golodryga, Senior Global Affairs Analyst, CNN
  • Georgia Nugent, President, Illinois Wesleyan University

To view the Compass Lexecon video, visit: https://vimeo.com/520945477. Samantha Kappagoda’s interview segment appears at 6:25.

Samantha Kappagoda Compass Lexecon Video

About Compass Lexecon

Compass Lexecon (CL) is one of the world’s leading economic consulting firms, providing law firms, corporations, and government clients with clear analysis of complex issues. CL has been involved in a broad spectrum of matters related to economics and finance – providing critical insight in legal and regulatory proceedings, strategic decisions, and public policy debates. CL experience and expertise apply to virtually any question of economics, in virtually any context of the law or business, and in any industry.

David K.A. Mordecai Authored Article Automated Personal Assistants with Multiple Principals: Whose Agent Is It? in ABA SciTech Lawyer

David K.A. Mordecai Authored Article Automated Personal Assistants with Multiple Principals: Whose Agent Is It? in ABA SciTech Lawyer

David K.A. Mordecai authored an article published on January 17, 2020 in the Winter edition of the American Bar Association (ABA) SciTech Lawyer entitled Automated Personal Assistants with Multiple Principals: Whose Agent Is It?

The term automated personal assistant (i.e., virtual assistant) commonly refers to mobile software agents that perform tasks or services on behalf of an individual (i.e., the device user or application user) based on a combination of user input, location awareness, and the ability to access information from a variety of online sources (e.g., weather conditions, traffic congestion, news, stock prices, user schedules, retail prices, etc.). This article highlights some open questions and foundational principles relevant to contract and tort liability implications of software agency in this context.

ABA SciTech Lawyer endeavors to provide information related to current developments in law, science, medicine, and technology of professional interest to members of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law.

David K.A. Mordecai Authored Article Automated Personal Assistants with Multiple Principals: Whose Agent Is It? in ABA SciTech Lawyer

David Mordecai is President of Risk Economics, Inc. He is an active ABA member, has been a speaker at ABA events and serves as Vice-Chair of the Science & Technology Law Section Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Committee as well as the Nanotechnology Committee.