Legal Recognition of Artificial Intelligence: Challenges

Different scholars have adopted different approaches towards the contentious issue of legal recognition of Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence is developing at an unprecedented rate. Some data analysts are also claiming that AI is developing at a rate which even exceeds[1] the estimates of Moore’s Law.  With such rapid development of the technology it has become imperative to develop legislation in order to regulate its functioning so as to ensure that the rights of individuals remain unaffected. However the development of such policies and regulations has certain roadblocks which need to be overcome.

Artificial Intelligence is developing at an unprecedented rate. Some data analysts are also claiming that AI is developing at a rate which even exceeds[1] the estimates of Moore’s Law.  With such rapid development of the technology it has become imperative to develop legislation in order to regulate its functioning so as to ensure that the rights of individuals remain unaffected. However the development of such policies and regulations has certain roadblocks which need to be overcome.

“There are a couple of risks involved that need to be managed:

  • AI build with intention of wrongdoing
  • AI unintentionally being at fault
  • AI super-intelligence that becomes incomprehensible for humans

Questions that need to be addressed are:

  • Are there limits to what we want AI to do versus human ethical judgements, consensus and decisions?
  • How can we control AI (instead of AI controlling us)?
  • How can we keep AI and what it does transparent and auditable?
  • Who is responsible and who is accountable for actions and decisions made by AI?”[2]

‘Artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly permeates every aspect of our society, from the critical, like healthcare and humanitarian aid, to the mundane like dating. AI, including embodied AI in robotics and techniques like machine learning, can enhance economic, social welfare and the exercise of human rights. The various sectors mentioned can benefit from these new technologies. At the same time, AI may be misused or behave in unpredicted and potentially harmful ways. Questions on the role of the law, ethics and technology in governing AI systems are thus more relevant than ever before.’[3]

‘The increasing role of AI in the economy and society presents both practical and conceptual challenges for the legal system. Many of the practical challenges stem from the manner in which AI is researched and developed and from the basic problem of controlling the actions of autonomous machines.’[4]


[1]Sarkis, A. (2018). Why AI progress is faster than Moore’s Law — the age of the algorithm. [online] Hacker Noon. Available at: https://hackernoon.com/the-age-of-the-algorithm-why-ai-progress-is-faster-than-moores-law-2fb7d5ae7943 [Accessed 27 May 2019].

[2]Rijsewijk ,, R. (2018). How can we control AI (instead of AI controlling us)?. [online] IIR. Available at: https://iir.nl/blog/how-can-we-control-ai-instead-ai-controlling-us/ [Accessed 27 May 2019].

[3]Cath, C., 2018. Governing artificial intelligence: ethical, legal and technical opportunities and challenges.

[4]Scherer, M.U., 2015. Regulating artificial intelligence systems: Risks, challenges, competencies, and strategies. Harv. JL & Tech.29, p.353.