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Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Emerging Legal Issues in Robotics Law

Robots have been with us for a long time, but the law of robotics is still in its infancy.  Automobile manufacturers and tool and die companies have used industrial robots for decades.  Now, however, we are moving closer to the era of autonomous driving, in which an increasing number of cars and trucks will essentially be robots.  In addition, personal and service robots will become more commonplace.  Researchers in Japan are already looking towards elder care robots to assist the country's aging population.

With the increasing use of robots, legal issues will arise.  In particular, robotics companies will be concerned about liability arising from the manufacture and sale of robots.  Moreover, enabling legislation will be necessary in some cases to permit robots to take on functions previously done only by humans.  One example is the recent legislation in Nevada to address autonomous driving.  Nevada has also issued regulations to support its autonomous driving legislation.

Issues of Artificial Intelligence and the Law

The use of artificial intelligence, whether in robots or not, will have its own legal issues, including liability issues.  If humans delegate certain tasks to artificial intelligences, who bears the liability if something goes wrong and damage occurs?  Likewise, researchers and businesses are starting to apply artificial intelligence to the legal system and processes. For instance, electronic discovery vendors are increasingly using software to have more machine review of documents to make document review more efficient and lower the cost of e-discovery.

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