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Of, for, and by the people: the legal lacuna of synthetic persons

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 some emotional or economic appeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which the law protects us. We review the utility and history of legal fictions of personhood, discussing salient precedents where such fictions resulted in abuse or incoherence. We conclude that difficulties in holding “electronic persons” accountable when they violate the rights of others outweigh the highly precarious moral interests that AI legal personhood might protect. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Artificial Intelligence and Law Springer Journals

Of, for, and by the people: the legal lacuna of synthetic persons

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by The Author(s)
Subject
Computer Science; Artificial Intelligence (incl. Robotics); International IT and Media Law, Intellectual Property Law; Philosophy of Law; Legal Aspects of Computing; Information Storage and Retrieval
ISSN
0924-8463
eISSN
1572-8382
DOI
10.1007/s10506-017-9214-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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 some emotional or economic appeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which the law protects us. We review the utility and history of legal fictions of personhood, discussing salient precedents where such fictions resulted in abuse or incoherence. We conclude that difficulties in holding “electronic persons” accountable when they violate the rights of others outweigh the highly precarious moral interests that AI legal personhood might protect.

Journal

Artificial Intelligence and LawSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 8, 2017

References