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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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Human rights considerations

Woodrow Barfield Ugo Pagallo


This chapter discusses the impact of AI on rights afforded to individuals under human rights resolutions, documents, and international treaties. Human rights are those rights granted to individuals which are afforded to all human beings irrespective of their nationality, race, creed, or gender. More specifically, the term is used to refer to individual rights that have been enshrined primarily in three landmark instruments that make up the International Bill of Rights – these include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),1 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),2 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).3 The UDHR was adopted by means of a non-binding United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution, and the ICCPR and ICESCR are international treaties that are binding upon those states that have ratified them. Additionally, there are other sources of rights that every human being enjoys by virtue of their birth and which may be impacted by the use of AI.4

As a point of emphasis, human rights may be violated when AI is involved in decisions which affect individuals. For example, the result of AI decisions may lead to an unequal distribution of positive and negative outcomes,5 which in turn may affect basic rights awarded to individuals under international laws and treaties.6 Furthermore, it is possible for AI to be accurate in the functioning and execution of its algorithms, but still embed deep-seated injustices in its decision making. But perhaps one of the most...

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