No doubt you’ve read about the rise of artificial intelligence, and how it will continue to change manufacturing and other industries. Let’s first note this isn’t the first time we’ve had concerns about technology. It’s happened before in many industries.
Remember learning in school about the invention of the power loom and its role in the Industrial Revolution? We know what happened to the horse-and-buggy industries when Henry Ford came along. The transcontinental railroad? Our world changes. And as it does, so too must the legal system. Let’s look at five legal issues that remain open and uncertain with artificial intelligence.
#1. Regulation. We need to understand how to regulate AI. What happens when machines commit bad acts? It’s only a matter of time until a driverless car is involved in a serious crash. What do we do? Well, with humans, we have criminal trials and other possible liability. But when we start talking about AI, do we go after the manufacturer? Do we go after the software programmer? Where do we attach liability and responsibility?
#2. Ethics. Who makes the ethical decisions? Right from wrong? Life or death? For example, will there be a day when AI must decide in a split second how a car crash is going to happen – which car will take the worst hit and its passengers be put most at risk for injury? How do we program ethics into AI?
#3. Residence. Where do AI machines live? What does that mean for our communities and taxation systems? So much of our tax system is set by state and local governments and is based on where the business activities happen. Many AI activities will take place in the cloud, in multiple locations throughout the world. How do we adapt?
#4. Virtual activity. The forecast: The world will be less physical, more virtual. What will we do? How will we structure our systems? How will we work with each other in a world where there’s not as much physical activity, but there’s so much more intellectual activity and virtual activity?
#5. Displacement. What will the legal system do for workers who lose their jobs to AI? Some regulations on mass closings exist in the U.S. – see the Warren Act – and other business activities.
We are in the early stages of the AI revolution, and our legal systems are unprepared. I look forward to seeing how our legal systems evolve.
What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? How do you believe it’s going to change the world? Join us in the comments below.
This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/Photographer Juan Bernardo.
About the Author
Shawn McBride — R. Shawn McBride is the Managing Member of The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC. Shawn works successful, private business owners in their growth and missions to make a company that stands the test of time. You can email R. Shawn McBride or call 407-517-0064.
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