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 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 AI legal personhood might protect.
LanguageEnglish
Pages273-291
JournalArtificial Intelligence and Law
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

artificial intelligence
Hazards
History
Economics
human being
appeal
abuse
electronics
Law
history
economics
European Union

Keywords

  • international organisations
  • Legal personality
  • artificial intelligence
  • robots
  • legal agency
  • moral subject
  • ethics

Cite this

Of, For, and By the People : The Legal Lacuna of Synthetic Persons. / Bryson, Joanna J; Diamantis, Mihailis E; Grant, Thomas D.

In: Artificial Intelligence and Law, Vol. 25, No. 3, 01.09.2017, p. 273-291.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bryson, Joanna J ; Diamantis, Mihailis E ; Grant, Thomas D. / Of, For, and By the People : The Legal Lacuna of Synthetic Persons. In: Artificial Intelligence and Law. 2017 ; Vol. 25, No. 3. pp. 273-291
@article{17b1c8a2faa54d748ac1f61baeadcdf5,
title = "Of, For, and By the People: The Legal Lacuna of Synthetic Persons",
abstract = "Conferring legal personhood on purely synthetic entities is a very real legalpossibility, one under consideration presently by the European Union.We show here that such legislative action would be morally unnecessary andlegally troublesome. While AI legal personhood may have emotional or economicappeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which thelaw protects us. We review the utility and history of legal fictions of personhood,discussing salient precedents where such fictions resulted in abuseor incoherence. We conclude that difficulties in holding “electronic persons”accountable when they violate the rights of others outweigh the highly precariousmoral interests AI legal personhood might protect.",
keywords = "international organisations, Legal personality, artificial intelligence, robots, legal agency, moral subject, ethics",
author = "Bryson, {Joanna J} and Diamantis, {Mihailis E} and Grant, {Thomas D}",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s10506-017-9214-9",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "273--291",
journal = "Artificial Intelligence and Law",
issn = "0924-8463",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Of, For, and By the People

T2 - Artificial Intelligence and Law

AU - Bryson,Joanna J

AU - Diamantis,Mihailis E

AU - Grant,Thomas D

PY - 2017/9/1

Y1 - 2017/9/1

N2 - Conferring legal personhood on purely synthetic entities is a very real legalpossibility, one under consideration presently by the European Union.We show here that such legislative action would be morally unnecessary andlegally troublesome. While AI legal personhood may have emotional or economicappeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which thelaw protects us. We review the utility and history of legal fictions of personhood,discussing salient precedents where such fictions resulted in abuseor incoherence. We conclude that difficulties in holding “electronic persons”accountable when they violate the rights of others outweigh the highly precariousmoral interests AI legal personhood might protect.

AB - Conferring legal personhood on purely synthetic entities is a very real legalpossibility, one under consideration presently by the European Union.We show here that such legislative action would be morally unnecessary andlegally troublesome. While AI legal personhood may have emotional or economicappeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which thelaw protects us. We review the utility and history of legal fictions of personhood,discussing salient precedents where such fictions resulted in abuseor incoherence. We conclude that difficulties in holding “electronic persons”accountable when they violate the rights of others outweigh the highly precariousmoral interests AI legal personhood might protect.

KW - international organisations

KW - Legal personality

KW - artificial intelligence

KW - robots

KW - legal agency

KW - moral subject

KW - ethics

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10506-017-9214-9

U2 - 10.1007/s10506-017-9214-9

DO - 10.1007/s10506-017-9214-9

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 273

EP - 291

JO - Artificial Intelligence and Law

JF - Artificial Intelligence and Law

SN - 0924-8463

IS - 3

ER -