Overview of Artificial Intelligence
Over the past month, we have focused on Artificial Intelligence ("AI") and how it has rapidly come to prominence in the legal context. In particular, we have focused on different laws, principles and regulations regarding AI. We have also focused on AI in the context of copyright law and products liability law. In our first post, we discussed how AI was beginning to sweep into copyright law with its creation of highly refined works of art, such as The Next Rembrandt. Our second post expanded on this, and focused especially on whether the law should recognize AI creations as the equivalent of human creation. Our third post focused on the development of AI laws and how they have been applied by judges and others. Our final post of the month focused primarily on how AI has been incorporated into product liability laws and what standard of care should govern it.
AI has developed significantly in recent times especially in regards to its creative ability. Computers have evolved from being tools to create art to being able to create artwork all on their own. However, there is still much to be determined when it comes to how copyright law is to be considered here. Much of the debate centers around whether AI-created artwork should have the same protection under copyright law as human-created artwork. What are the similarities and differences between humans and AI in creating artwork? While AI does not have the human trait, it has developed the capability to make some decisions in the creative process. People have argued that it is unfair not to extend copyright protection to works of art just because it was not human-made. There are numerous legal options available on how to treat AI in terms of copyright law, and countries around the world have employed these options in different ways. Depending on how courts determine this, it may have major implications on copyright law as well as on human artists and authors.
Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics were important in the development of AI laws. They were also influential in the following legislation passed to regulate AI: (1) The Self Drive Act; (2) The AV Start Act; and (3) The Future of AI Act. These laws were key in developing how AI has been applied legally. Further, a number of cases have brought light to this application, however, a fixed answer on how AI applies to the law has not been articulated by the courts. In terms of autonomous vehicles, various states have passed legislation regulating AI use in vehicles, but maintained public safety and innovation as a primary purpose.
When it comes to AI in products liability cases, there is still much debate on who should be held liable. Is it the manufacturer or programmer? There is also debate on what standard should be applied to machines and products that utilize it. Is it strict liability or negligence? Some courts have made distinctions between when AI software is customized to a specific customer and when it is not. When it is customized, courts have considered this to be a service and have applied the negligence standard. When AI software is not customized, courts have determined this to be a product and subject to the strict liability standard. However, this analysis has been limited to conventional software utilizing AI, and not to other areas of its use in products. This debate may be influential in shaping AI in products liability law for the future.
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