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This chapter shows that the book’s core transactional techniques are viable under existing law, and it defends the book’s analysis as a matter of statutory interpretation. It also provides various alternative transactional means to achieve similar goals, both as practical alternatives and to show the conceptual robustness of the book’s main proposed transactional technique.
This chapter lays out a transactional technique by which any existing natural or legal person can create an autonomous organization – specifically, an LLC with zero members controlled, as a matter of internal governance, only by software. The technique works under existing law and can be used with software without regard for the software’s “intelligence.”
Under current business law, it is already possible to give legal personhood, or a very close surrogate of it, to software systems of any kind (from a simple automated escrow agent to a more hypothetical, truly smart artificial intelligence). This means that, for example, robots could enter into contracts, serve as legal agents, or own property. Ultimately, entire companies could actually be run by non-human agents. This study argues that this is not as scary as it might sound at first. Legal theorist and noted software developer Shawn Bayern argues that autonomous or zero-person organizations offer an opportunity for useful new types of interactions between software and the law. This creative contribution to the theory and practice of law and technology explores the social and political aspects of these new organizational structures and their implications for legal theory.
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