Matthew Sag Biography

(Last revised, July 1, 2022)

Matthew Sag a Professor of Law in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science at Emory University Law School. Professor Sag is an expert in copyright law and intellectual property. He is a leading U.S. authority on the fair use doctrine in copyright law and its implications for researchers in the fields of text data mining, machine learning and AI.

Professor Sag was born and educated in Australia. He earned honors in Law at the Australian National University in Canberra and clerked for Justice Paul Finn at the Australian Federal Court. Professor Sag practiced law London as an associate at Arnold & Porter, and in Silicon Valley  with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Prior to Emory, Professor Sag taught at DePaul University and Loyola Chicago; he has also held visiting posts at Northwestern University, the University of Virginia and the University of Melbourne.

Professor Sag is currently working on several theoretical contributions to copyright law in relation to AI and machine learning and a series of empirical papers using text-mining and machine learning tools to study judicial behavior. His work has been published in leading journals such as Nature, and the law reviews of the University of California Berkeley, Georgetown, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Iowa and William & Mary, among others. His research has been widely cited in academic works, court submissions, judicial opinions and government reports.

How to pronounce my name

See this post for an extended discussion. If you want to try to get the authentic Hungarian sound it is Ság, but English speakers should say it to rhyme with flag. To be clear, I don’t speak a word of Hungarian, so I say my name just like appears.

A few more personal details


I am dyslexic and proud of it. For more details, see this post (link now fixed).


My Erdős number is 5. The chain proceeds as follows: Peter Fishburn(1), John Ferejohn(2), Barry Weingast(3), Tonja Jacobi(4), Matthew Sag(5). I do not have an  Erdős–Bacon number.

Science Fiction

A few of my favorite science fiction books of all time, in no particular order (this list is a bit dated, but still fun):

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley
  • The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  • The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  • Ubik by Philip K. Dick
  • The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  • Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
  • The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
  • Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
  • The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison
  • Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock
  • The Cornelius Quartet by Michael Moorcock
  • Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock
  • The City and the City by China Miéville
  • The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse
  • Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Some random books I have recently enjoyed

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  • The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  • The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik


I have run 13 marathons since I took up the sport in 2013.

My fastest marathon time is 3:27:17 (Fox Valley  Marathon 2015)

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 6.53.13 AM

My fastest half-marathon is 1:34:12 (New Orleans 2015)

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My best race result is the 2014 SeaShore Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA , 1st place in the men’s division with a time of 1:38:53. Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 7.19.49 AM