When Artificial Intelligence faces the law

As the pace of AI continues unabated with worldwide rapid adoption, governments around the world are moving quickly to ensure that existing laws, regulations & legal constructs, are relevant to technological change, & that they can deal with AI’s new challenges

Artificial Intelligence is bringing up a barrage of questions for all legal systems around the globe. As Forbes notes, it is not so surprising to see that the majority of governments are taking a “wait and see” approach to regulations and laws pertaining to AI.

  • 24 countries & regions have set up soft laws regarding autonomous vehicle operation, & 8 more are currently in discussion to permit the operation of self-driving vehicles.
  • When it comes to restricting the use of LAWS (lethal autonomous weapons systems), a level of discussion has been advanced by 13 countries. (Thus far, Belgium is the only country to have agreed on legislation to prevent the development or use of LAWS.
  • America has adhered to a mild regulatory posture, hence the lack of widespread Artificial Intelligence regulations & laws at a federal level; however, some states have kept a more robust approach to regulation.

Civil & criminal law

At the present time, there is already a large volume of studies involving the implications of Artificial Intelligence in civil law (particularly in regard to liability law). Moreover, the literature concerning criminal law, is increasingly giving attention to the case.

  • Initiate action to fulfil the machine’s particular goals, (that are normally determined by a human being.

Does AI have e-personalities within the scope of the law?

During the last few years, the European Parliament has set out what it regards as an “Electronic Personality”

The concept of AI’s personality & legal responsibility

The rise of AI brings up questions about liability for crimes it commits, mainly because it acts autonomously with limited control from human beings.

Criminal & legal responsibility

In order to have such a legal obligation, a person, AI, or anything else, must have rights, and the capacity to act. Thus far, however, this has only applied to humans. — And this is where it gets complicated…

The Legal Low Down on UAVs

At the present time, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) form part of many nation’s military defence systems. Regarded as self-moving autonomous vehicles which use AI and derivative algorithms to help conduct vital military operations, these vehicles can carry out missions:

One perspective is that: “robots do not have the ability to act in terms of criminal law and civil law norms, therefore, unjust acts that arise from AI should be evaluated separately in the light of criminal provisions apart from civil law norms.”

The need for an alternative capacity

Bearing the aforementioned in mind, the concept of an ‘alternative capacity’ to act must be outlined; moreover, the boundaries of legal responsibility need to be distinctly drawn out, and should indicate the expanding limits of what AI will be able to do in the foreseeable future.

European Parliament: Decisions relating to personal assessment & legal responsibility of AI

In February of this year (2020), an announcement was made by the European Commission in relation to setting out new strategies for the long-term use of robots and AI within the EU. In fact, a whopping 200 billion euros has been earmarked for the next 10 years’ development of robot tech and AI.

Damage related the use of AI/algorithms in the financial market

According to the European Commission, at the present time, this financial market scenario is subject to the type of compensation linked to traditional fault-based regimes.

Yet, it seems more probable that: “the reaction of the legal system to potential irregularities in contracting with the use of algorithms will rely on contract law tools for assessing and challenging the validity of contracts (vitiated consent, lack of fairness, etc.).”

Partner / Tech Guru in Experior Venture Fund. Helps entrepreneurs build companies. Microsoft Regional Director.

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