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Advanced Introduction to Law and Artificial Intelligence

Woodrow Barfield Ugo Pagallo

Woodrow Barfield and Ugo Pagallo present a succinct introduction to the legal issues related to the design and use of artificial intelligence (AI). Exploring human rights, constitutional law, data protection, criminal law, tort law, and intellectual property law, they consider the laws of a number of jurisdictions including the US, the European Union, Japan, and China, making reference to case law and statutes.
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Definitions, actors, and concepts

Woodrow Barfield Ugo Pagallo


Chapter 1 provides definitions and discussion of different techniques which are used to create AI in order to set the stage for the chapters which follow. The chapter also introduces fundamental concepts which relate to law and AI and concludes with a discussion describing the relationship between current areas of law and techniques of AI.

As a starting point, the term, “intelligence” refers to the ability to acquire knowledge or skills, or to reason abstractly; whereas, AI refers to a program that is able to mimic or re-create the thought processes demonstrated by the human brain. This usually involves making observations or receiving input for use in a problem-solving situation, and the ability to categorize and identify different objects and the properties associated with those objects. The law is particularly interested in the rights and liabilities which arise from the use of AI and from an independent and autonomous source of AI itself. John McCarthy, who coined the term “AI” in 1956, defined AI as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” Some definitions of AI acknowledge the transitory nature of what is considered AI, for example, Elaine Rich in Artificial Intelligence, defined AI as “the study of how to make computers do things at which, at the moment, people are better.”1 Artificial intelligence pioneer Patrick Winston defined AI as “the study of ideas that enable computers to be intelligent.”2 And Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig, in their seminal text Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach,...

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