The Legal Status of Artificially Intelligent Robots: Personhood, Taxation and Control

68 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2017

Date Written: June 1, 2017


The introduction of artificial intelligence in industry and society will revolutionize the current social structures and comport several regulatory challenges, which legal frameworks are not prepared to give a direct response to. In order to accommodate this reality, we understand that machines with limited memory, machines with a theory of mind and self-aware machines should be considered separate legal entities from their owners and users. Attributing a separate legal status to artificially intelligent agents and defining the contents of that status, namely, regarding liability, eventual rights and potential taxation duties, allows for minimum certainty concerning the consequences of the introduction of those new intelligent agents in society, which contrasts with the large amount of unforeseeability that it comports. However, the risks of that unforeseeability still need to be addressed and mitigated, as they are not only related to eventual damages, but also to the protection of personal data and public safety. When designing technology that could impact the safety or wellbeing of humans, it is not enough to simply presume it works.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Robot Taxation, Technology

JEL Classification: K29, 031, 032, 038

Suggested Citation

Maia Alexandre, Filipe, The Legal Status of Artificially Intelligent Robots: Personhood, Taxation and Control (June 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Filipe Maia Alexandre (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto
+351913274747 (Phone)

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics