Robots as Products: The Case for a Realistic Analysis of Robotic Applications and Liability Rules

Law Innovation and Technology, 5(2), 2013, 214-247

33 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014

See all articles by Andrea Bertolini

Andrea Bertolini

S. Anna School of Advanced Studies; University of Pisa - Facolta' di Economia

Date Written: August 31, 2013

Abstract

The term robot is a-technical and the applications which are normally referred to with it are extremely diverse from one another. Distinguishing criteria relevant for a legal analysis need thus be identified: autonomy and the ability of the machine to learn are taken into account.

Once narrowly defined though, only a notion of "strong autonomy" justifies a complete shift in the paradigms for the ascription of liability. Yet machines showing such trait belong – at least so far – to science fiction, and should be disregarded. Robots instead are products and applicable rules present a sufficient degree of elasticity to accommodate existing as well as reasonably foreseeable applications.

Instead other criteria such as the desirability of a given technology – from a public policy or constitutional law perspective – as well as its potential market may induce to consider that the incentives currently provided are not optimal; thus the argument is made that such – non merely technical-aspects need to be taken into account when deciding if and how to devise alternative compensation mechanisms.

Keywords: robots, liability, autonomy, reinforced learning, evolutionary robotics, categorical imperative

Suggested Citation

Bertolini, Andrea, Robots as Products: The Case for a Realistic Analysis of Robotic Applications and Liability Rules (August 31, 2013). Law Innovation and Technology, 5(2), 2013, 214-247, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2410754

Andrea Bertolini (Contact Author)

S. Anna School of Advanced Studies ( email )

Pisa
Italy

University of Pisa - Facolta' di Economia ( email )

I-56126 Pisa
Italy

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,030
Abstract Views
2,783
Rank
41,777
PlumX Metrics