I fought the law, and the AI won

Artificial intelligence (commonly known as AI) continues to evolve. Despite the prostrations of AI doom mongers it will continue to develop at pace and become more prevalent in our lives. Rather than fighting it, we should be looking at how we can embrace and make the most of the opportunities that it presents.

Something very interesting in all the verbiage about AI at the moment is the question of responsibility and liability when it comes to AI-generated content. Individuals or companies may feel that they have been wronged by an AI-generated article and may wish to pursue legal action against the AI itself. However, is this idea is not practical or legally feasible?

Side on view of woman with long have with zeros and ones on her face

To begin with, it is important to understand that AI-generated content is created by algorithms and machines – it does not have consciousness or autonomy. Surely this means that it cannot be held responsible for the content it generates? With AI not being capable of making decisions or taking actions on it’s own. AI is simply a tool that can be programmed to perform certain tasks, and it is up to us, the humans, who create and use it to make sure that it is used responsibly and ethically.

I would argue it is not the owner of the AI system that is responsible for any content that is generated by it. If an AI-generated article contains inaccurate information or defamatory statements, it should then be the publisher of the content created by AI that should be held legally responsible, not the AI itself. It is the duty of the publisher to check the sources and information that drove the AI.

There have already been instances of people attempting to sue AI for the content it generates. In 2018, Jonathan Faridian attempted to sue an AI-powered chatbot called DoNotPay in the US for providing him with inaccurate legal advice. However, the case was dismissed, as the court determined that the chatbot was simply a tool created by Browder and did not have legal standing.

Cases so far seem to show that attempting to sue an AI system isn’t going to be easy. Instead, individuals who believe they have been wronged by AI-generated content will need to direct their legal action toward the publisher or owner of the AI system, who can be held legally responsible for any suspected harm caused by the content the AI produces.

Who are you fighting? And what are your chances of winning?

Whilst the idea of suing an AI-generated article may seem appealing to some individuals who feel wronged by its content, it doesn’t look practical or legally feasible. However, because of the risk no doubt, when using AI tools, we will increasingly be forced to sign terms and conditions designed to protect the owner of the AI platform.

AI is simply a tool created and controlled by humans, and any legal responsibility for its actions lies with the publisher or owner of the system. As AI technology continues to evolve, it is important for society to develop clear legal frameworks that can ensure that it is used ethically and responsibly, while also protecting the rights of individuals who may be affected by its actions.

I would love to see an AI-generated lawyer fighting the case. Legal arguments generated and tested by the AI in a million scenarios against previous legal precedents would certainly make a formidable defence.

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