Toward a Fourth Law of Robotics: Preserving Attribution, Responsibility, and Explainability in an Algorithmic Society

13 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017  

Frank A. Pasquale III

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law; Yale University - Yale Information Society Project

Date Written: July 14, 2017

Abstract

Jack Balkin makes several important contributions to legal theory and ethics in his lecture, “The Three Laws of Robotics in the Age of Big Data.” He proposes “laws of robotics” for an “algorithmic society” characterized by “social and economic decision making by algorithms, robots, and AI agents.” These laws both elegantly encapsulate, and add new principles to, a growing movement for accountable design and deployment of algorithms. My comment aims to 1) contextualize his proposal as a kind of “regulation of regulation,” familiar from the perspective of administrative law, 2) expand the range of methodological perspectives capable of identifying “algorithmic nuisance,” a key concept in Balkin’s lecture, and 3) propose a fourth law of robotics to ensure the viability of Balkin’s three laws.

Keywords: Algorithmic Society, Online Platforms, Internet Regulation, Algorithmic Discrimination, Nuisance Law, Balkin, Social Network Data, Algorithmic Accountability

Suggested Citation

Pasquale, Frank A., Toward a Fourth Law of Robotics: Preserving Attribution, Responsibility, and Explainability in an Algorithmic Society (July 14, 2017). Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 78, 2017; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3002546

Frank A. Pasquale III (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States
410-706-4820 (Phone)
410-706-0407 (Fax)

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )

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New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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