This category maps the discussions of existing and future legal frameworks and regulation in the context of robotics. These discussions seek to answer questions of liability in cases of failures and accidents, but they also map how legal definitions of agency for both humans and robots can change as a result of technological developments.

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Intersection of “Tokku” Special Zone, Robots, and the Law: A Case Study on Legal Impacts to Humanoid Robots

The unique “Tokku” Special Zone for Robot-ics Empirical Testing and Development (RT special zone) originated in Japan. Since 2003, the world’s first RT special zone had already established in Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City and Kitakyushu City. At that time, Takanishi Laboratory, Humanoid Robotics Institute of Waseda University had conducted many empirical testing within several different…

Of, For, and By the People: The Legal Lacuna of Synthetic Persons

Conferring legal personhood on purely synthetic entities is a very real legal possibility, one under consideration presently by the European Union. We show here that such legislative action would be morally unnecessary and legally troublesome. While AI legal personhood may have emotional or economic appeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which the law…

Automated Experiments on Ad Privacy Settings: A Tale of Opacity, Choice, and Discrimination

To partly address people's concerns over web tracking, Google has created the Ad Settings webpage to provide information about and some choice over the profiles Google creates on users. We present AdFisher, an automated tool that explores how user behaviors, Google's ads, and Ad Settings interact. AdFisher can run browser-based experiments and analyze data using…

One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100)

This report is the first in a series to be issued at regular intervals as a part of the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100). Starting from a charge given by the AI100 Standing Committee to consider the likely influences of AI in a typical North American city by the year 2030, the…

Institutional Options for Robot Governance

Robots, which are generally understood as systems that take in information about the world, process that information, and can then act on the world, represent an enormous technological and economic opportunity that will change society in innumerable and unpredictable ways. Because they are non-human but can act on the world, new legal frameworks will be…

The Trouble with Algorithmic Decisions: An Analytic Road Map to Examine Efficiency and Fairness in Automated and Opaque Decision Making

We are currently witnessing a sharp rise in the use of algorithmic decision-making tools. In these instances, a new wave of policy concerns is set forth. This article strives to map out these issues, separating the wheat from the chaff. It aims to provide policy makers and scholars with a comprehensive framework for approaching these…

Accountable Algorithms

Many important decisions historically made by people are now made by computers. Algorithms count votes, approve loan and credit card applications, target citizens or neighborhoods for police scrutiny, select taxpayers for an IRS audit, and grant or deny immigration visas.The accountability mechanisms and legal standards that govern such decision processes have not kept pace with…

A Legal Theory for Autonomous Artificial Agents

As corporations and government agencies replace human employees with online customer service and automated phone systems, we become accustomed to doing business with nonhuman agents. If artificial intelligence (AI) technology advances as today's leading researchers predict, these agents may soon function with such limited human input that they appear to act independently. When they achieve…

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!: HRI and the Automation of Police Use of Force

This paper considers the ethical challenges facing the development of robotic systems that deploy violent and lethal force against humans. While the use of violent and lethal force is not usually acceptable for humans or robots, police officers are authorized by the state to use violent and lethal force in certain circumstances in order to…

War Torts: Accountability for Autonomous Weapons

Unlike conventional weapons or remotely operated drones, autonomous weapon systems can independently select and engage targets. As a result, they may take actions that look like war crimes—the sinking of a cruise ship, the destruction of a village, the downing of a passenger jet—without an y individual acting intentionally or recklessly. Absent such willful action,…

Autonomous Weapon Systems: Implications of Increasing Autonomy in the Critical Functions of Weapons

Debates on autonomous weapon systems have expanded significantly in recent years in diplomatic, military, scientific, academic and public forums. In March 2014, the ICRC convened an international expert meeting to consider the relevant technical, military, legal and humanitarian issues.1 Expert discussions at a Meeting of Experts convened by the High Contracting Parties to the UN…

Robots in the Home: What Will We Have Agreed To?

This essay begins by identifying the legally salient features of home robots: the aspects of home robots that will likely drive the most interesting legal questions. It then explores how current privacy law governing both law enforcement and private parties addresses a number of questions raised by home robots. First, how does privacy law treat…