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The hope is that legal rules relating to AI technologies can frame their progress and limit the risks of abuse. This hope is tentative as technology seriously challenges the theory and practice of the law across legal traditions. The use of interdisciplinary and comparative methodologies makes clear that AI is currently impacting our understanding of the law. AI can be understood as a regulatory technology and confirms that AI can produce normative effects some of which may be contrary to public laws and regulations.
The technology and application of artificial intelligence (AI) throughout society continues to grow at unprecedented rates, which raises numerous legal questions that to date have been largely unexamined. Although AI now plays a role in almost all areas of society, the need for a better understanding of its impact, from legal and ethical perspectives, is pressing, and regulatory proposals are urgently needed. This book responds to these needs, identifying the issues raised by AI and providing practical recommendations for regulatory, technical, and theoretical frameworks aimed at making AI compatible with existing legal rules, principles, and democratic values. An international roster of authors including professors of specialized areas of law, technologists, and practitioners bring their expertise to the interdisciplinary nature of AI.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of many digital technologies currently under development.1 In recent years, it is having increasing repercussions in the field of law. These repercussions go beyond the traditional effect of an economic and industrial evolution. Indeed, the epochal industrial transformations and paradigmatic shifts it generates in many sectors have, from a legal perspective, a structural impact on legal rules and on legal practice. Moreover, the speed of these transformations also impacts on the regulatory response that a legislator is able to provide. In point of fact, rather than running the risk of new legislation rapidly becoming obsolete, regulators around the world have preferred so far to take their time to observe the changes unfolding in current technologies, and to assess their impacts from the legal point of view, before proposing any specific courses of action. Although legal experts, contrary to ethicists, have traditionally shown little interest in AI, algorithms, machine learning and so forth, it is now virtually impossible for them to ignore the impact of AI on the law, and more specifically, the question of whether actual legal rules and regulations can cope with the changes taking place in the economy and in the society, on one hand, and whether the use of AI tools in legal practice is compatible with the founding principles of our legal orders, on the other hand. If new rules are needed, lawyers will have to define their content and how to make sure they are suitable for the long term, in a context of rapidly changing technologies.