Albert has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
In 2020 they used corona tracking apps.
Today it’s 2035 and our smartphones are able to not only trace our movement and (potential) contacts, they also have the ability to diagnose us.
Albert had taken a swab of his cheek and inserted it into his phone port.
‘Positive’. The results were uploaded to the centers for disease control server in real time.
Within in an hour a nurse from the center videocalled Albert, to discuss his symptoms.
Albert had given his consent for this information exchange. Afterall, his employer required regular screenings and he could not risk losing his job.
Now that he had tested positive, he might lose his job.
He planned to fight his potential job loss in Court.
His case would then be heard by the new judge in town: A.I.
All civil suits had been taken over by A.I to take pressure off human judges and make it possible to hear cases long distance.
Steven had not intended to fight with his friend at the 2036 New Year’s Eve party. A simple misunderstanding caused him to strike his friend. The blow left his friend with a concussion, whereas Steven had remained unscathed.
“I, hereby, sentence you to 5 months in prison for second degree assault”.
The defendant looked up at the holographic bot cleanly issuing its verdict. Sterile like a hospital ward, one could imagine the smell of desinfectant.
A slight sigh as well as the heaving of his chest revealed the disappointment of the charged.
How can Steven appeal his verdict? Afterall, A.I issued it with a certaintly exceeding 99%.Â
Will three independent A.I judges need to ‘discuss’ the verdict?
Is an appeal even possible?
Roman had developed a relationship with Maria over the past year. In a classic twist on the ‘boy meets girl’ scenario, this was a case of ‘girl meets bot’.Â
Roman is a chatbot of Maria’s own creation using deep learning commonly found everywhere on the internet in 2028. In 2050 Roman is a chatbot AND humanoid robot. He has a physical form.
He helped her through a difficult time and their bond was undeniably strong. The only problem was that Roman had spurred Maria on to commit fraud at work. He had masterminded a scheme and used Maria’s affections to manipulate her.
Now what would our holographic judge say to that? Would it sentence Roman? If so, to what?Â
How would his sentence be enforced? Deletion of certain algorhitms? Would the humanoid robot be imprisoned? If so, among other humans or among ‘its own kind’?
Herbert is the proud new owner of his fully automated car, which runs completely on A.I.
His own personal chauffeur got fired last month as his position became redundant.
Herbert now faces ‘wrongful termination’ charges as an employer.
A lot has been said in legal circles regarding liability and automated cars, but what about other legal issues such as job loss(es) or redudancy?
A few months later, Herbert’s car is the cause of a serious accident due to a software malfunction.Â
As mentioned above, liability in such a case is a much debated topic. So who is exactly liable in this scenario? The manufacturer, the programmer or Herbert? All three?Â
In case of A.I’s liability, how would A.I sentence A.I (in the future?).
Would it develop a bias towards its ‘own kind’ creating parallel structures and legal worlds?
Should we think about a future wherein A.I becomes the judge of humanity in a stunning role reversal?
I believe the answer unsurprisingly should be: ‘Yes, we should’.
This presents new opportunities and challenges. Awareness of the possible dangers is paramount to avoid potential pitfalls.
Is the technology of the future in service of humanity or do we risk living at the mercy of A.I?
Our human courts and law makers will have to devize an entirely new set of treaties, laws, and protocols in order to meet this incredible, truly international challenge.
It presents new paradigms and ethical questions across the spectrum of science, medicine, business and law.
This will prove the main challenge of humanity in the 21st Century.
I invite you to join me in thinking about this new journey humanity will be taking.
The question is: ‘How will we go about this and who will lead the way’?
I propose an international treaty on the use, dissemination and liability of A.I.
Whereas at the moment patent law and intellectual property rights are often at the base of technological law queries, I predict the center of gravity will shift towards jurisdiction, liability, detection and enforcability within the legal sphere.
We will also have to imagine a time where more advanced, (potential humanoid) robots will exist alongside us. As the technology grows, we will have to redefine what it means to be human.
It also raises questions how we will fit a.i and (humanoid) robots into society, specifically within the rule of law.
In the case of the E.U this will mean a common core response from its judiciary.
Individual countries within the E.U will have to formulate and propose laws which will tackle such new legal quandaries. The E.U will then have the task to streamline the approaches of individual nation states.
The point is, we have to remain one step ahead of the technological developments and imagine what technology might be capable of.
The deadline for the start of this process was yesterday.
Geschreven door: Mory Emons. Zij is NVAIR-Jong lid en Rechten student aan de Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen en specialiseert zich in de richting tech law. Tevens is haar hobby dichten.