Apples, oranges, robots: four misunderstandings in today's debate on the legal status of AI systems

  title={Apples, oranges, robots: four misunderstandings in today's debate on the legal status of AI systems},
  author={Ugo Pagallo},
  journal={Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences},
  • U. Pagallo
  • Published 15 October 2018
  • Law
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Scholars have increasingly discussed the legal status(es) of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) systems over the past three decades; however, the 2017 resolution of the EU parliament on the ‘electronic personhood’ of AI robots has reignited and even made current debate ideological. Against this background, the aim of the paper is twofold. First, the intent is to show how often today's discussion on the legal status(es) of AI systems leads to different kinds of misunderstanding that regard… 

Tables from this paper

Given the newly developed segments of the robotics market, and the application of AI-based unmanned control technologies, questions are on the rise with regard to administrative-legal responsibility
From computerised thing to digital being: mission (Im)possible?
It is argued that, from a technical perspective, it appears premature and probably inappropriate to introduce AI personhood now, and there is a need to depart from traditional liability theories.
Governing artificial intelligence: ethical, legal and technical opportunities and challenges
  • Corinne Cath
  • Computer Science
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2018
This paper gives a brief overview of recent developments in AI governance, how much of the agenda for defining AI regulation, ethical frameworks and technical approaches is set, as well as providing some concrete suggestions to further the debate on AI governance.
Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain: How Should Emerging Technologies Be Governed?
Governing emerging technologies is one of the most important issues of the twenty-first century, and primarily concerns the public, private, and social initiatives that can shape the adoption and
Activities of Law Enforcement Agencies in the Context of the Introduction of Innovative Technologies (Comparative Legal Aspect)
The objective of the study was to determine the legal mechanisms for the use of innovative technologies in law enforcement and to outline the main problems of their implementation in the fight
Governing Artificial Intelligence to benefit the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Big Tech's unregulated roll-out out of experimental AI poses risks to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with particular vulnerability for developing countries. The goal
Data Privacy and Security: Some Legal and Ethical Challenges
  • Fraser Sampson
  • Computer Science
    Information Security Technologies for Controlling Pandemics
  • 2021
The proliferation of accessible data and our growing reliance on it presents a perennial challenge: how to find an appropriate balance between what is technically possible, what is legally
Learning from Monkeys: Authorship Issues Arising From AI Technology
Artificial intelligence is experiencing rapid growth, taking centre stage in R&D investments, policy-making forums and academic literature.
Dijital Peculium Kavramı


A Legal Theory for Autonomous Artificial Agents
An extraordinarily good synthesis from an amazing range of philosophical, legal, and technological sources . . . the book will appeal to legal academics and students, lawyers involved in e-commerce
From Automation to Autonomous Systems: A Legal Phenomenology with Problems of Accountability
The aim of this paper is to show that the normative challenges of AI entail different types of accountability that go hand-in-hand with choices of technological dependence, delegation of cognitive tasks, and trust.
Killers, fridges, and slaves: a legal journey in robotics
Time has come for lawyers to acknowledge that some acts of robots should be considered as a new source of legal responsibility for others’ behaviour, according to a long and well-established tradition.
The Laws of Robots - Crimes, Contracts, and Torts
  • U. Pagallo
  • Law
    Law, Governance and Technology Series
  • 2013
This book explores how the design, construction, and use of robotics technology may affect todays legal systems and, more particularly, matters of responsibility and agency in criminal law,
Company Law and Autonomous Systems: A Blueprint for Lawyers, Entrepreneurs, and Regulators
In discussions of the regulation of autonomous systems, private law — specifically, company law — has been neglected as a potential legal and regulatory interface. As one of us has suggested
The Pros and Cons of Legal Automation and its Governance
The article examines the field of legal automation, its advantages and drawbacks, the ways in which legal constraints and safeguards can be embedded into technology and how the law may govern human
Cognitive automata and the law: electronic contracting and the intentionality of software agents
  • G. Sartor
  • Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence and Law
  • 2009
It is argued that software agents can be attributed cognitive states, since their behaviour can be best understood by adopting the intentional stance, and the implications in different areas of the law are discussed, in particular with regard to contracts, torts, and personality.
Laws on Robots, Laws by Robots, Laws in Robots: Regulating Robot Behaviour by Design
It is claimed that the artificial agency of robots requires designers and regulators to look at the question of how to regulate robots’ behaviour in a way that renders it compliant with legal norms, and Regulation by design offers a means for this.
Electronic Agents and the Formation of Contracts
An analysis is made of the increasingly active role of electronic agents, especially intelligent agents, in the negotiation and formation of contracts and it is argued that the objective theory is applicable to the use of electronic agent in contracting.
The Challenges of Ambient Law and Legal Protection in the Profiling Era
Only a constructive and collaborative effort to migrate law from books to other technologies can ensure that Ambient Law becomes reality, safeguarding the fundamental values underlying privacy, identity, and democracy in tomorrow's ambient intelligent world.