Machine Learning and the Law: 5 Theses

Paper accepted at NIPS 2016 (Barcelona)

4 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017 Last revised: 25 Nov 2018

Date Written: January 3, 2017


This paper proposes five theses with regard to machine learning and the law. The idea is to offer some food for thought and highlight elements of machine learning systems that are relevant to the law. Since the field is new for lawyers, the paper necessarily is preliminary in nature. While some parts may prove controversial, the main idea is to stimulate discussion, rather than to state absolute truths. (The paper was accepted for NIPS 2016 in Barcelona and is scheduled for publication in JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings.)

Keywords: machine learning, artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, robots

Suggested Citation

Burri, Thomas, Machine Learning and the Law: 5 Theses (January 3, 2017). Paper accepted at NIPS 2016 (Barcelona), Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Burri (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Bodanstrasse 3
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000


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