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Three Liability Regimes for Artificial Intelligence: Algorithmic Actants, Hybrids, Crowds

ISBN13: 9781509949335
To be Published: February 2022
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £85.00

This book proposes three liability regimes to combat the wide responsibility gap caused by AI systems – vicarious liability for autonomous software agents (actants); enterprise liability for inseparable human-AI interactions (hybrids); and collective fund liability for interconnected AI systems (crowds).

Based on information technology studies, the book first develops a threefold typology that distinguishes individual, hybrid and collective machine behaviour. A subsequent social sciences analysis specifies the socio-technical configurations of this threefold typology and theorises their social risks when being used in social practices: actants raise the risk of digital autonomy, hybrids the risk of double contingency, crowds the risk of opaque interconnections. The book demonstrates that it is these specific risks to which the law needs to respond, by recognising personified algorithms as vicarious agents, human-machine associations as collective enterprises, and interconnected systems as risk pools – and by developing corresponding liability rules.

The book relies on a unique combination of information technology studies, sociological configuration and risk analysis, and comparative law. This unique approach uncovers recursive relations between types of machine behaviour, emergent socio-technical configurations, their concomitant risks, the legal conditions of liability rules, and the ascription of legal status to the algorithms involved.

IT, Internet and Artificial Intelligence Law
1. Digitalisation: The Responsibility Gap
I. The Fear of the Homo Ex Machina
II. Growing Liability Gaps
III. Legal Doctrine and the Denial of Reality
IV. Full Legal Subjectivity for E-Persons?
V. Our Solution: New Legal Status Ascriptions for Autonomous Information Systems
VI. Three Digital Risks and Their Legal Conceptualisation
2. Actants: Autonomy Risk
I. Anthropomorphism?
II. Communication with Actants
III. Gradualised Digital Autonomy
IV. Legal Criteria of Autonomy
V. Our Solution: Decision Under Uncertainty
3. Liability for Actants' Decisions
I. Software Agents in Private Law
II. Algorithmic Contract Formation
III. Contractual Liability
IV. Extra-Contractual Liability
4. Hybrids: Association Risk
I. Human-Machine Associations
II. Hybrids as Legal Entities?
III. Our Solution: Enterprise Liability for Human-Algorithm Networks
5. Multi-Agent Systems: Interconnectivity Risk
I. System Connectivity: From “Persons” to “Swarms”
II. Interconnectivity Risk
III. Current Legal Responses: Individualising or Collectivising the System?
IV. Our Solution: Socialising the Interconnectivity Risk
6. Three Liability Systems and Their Interrelations
I. Rules
II. Differences
III. Interrelations
IV. Case Studies