Artificial Intelligence, Affordances and Fundamental Rights

Forthcoming (2019), Mireille Hildebrandt and Kieron O’Hara (eds.), Life and the Law in the Era of Data-Driven Agency, Edward Elgar.

University of Zurich i-call Working Paper No. 02 (2018), Zurich, Switzerland: University of Zurich

23 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2019

See all articles by Christoph B. Graber

Christoph B. Graber

University of Zurich, Faculty of Law; Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University

Date Written: December 11, 2018

Abstract

This paper is about the relationship between AI technology and society in fundamental rights theory. In fundamental rights doctrine, the relationship between technology and society is seldom reflected. Legal practitioners tend to view technology as a black box. For scholars of science and technology studies (STS), similarly, the law is a closed book. Such reductionist or compartmentalised thinking in the law and social sciences must be overcome if a conceptualisation of AI technology in fundamental rights theory is to be successful.

The paper offers a perspective on these issues that is based on a re-interpretation of affordance theory (as originally framed in STS). First, the question “how do affordances come into a technology?” is answered from the viewpoint of Bryan Pfaffenberger’s “technological drama”. Accordingly, the affordances (the possibilities and constraints of a technology) are shaped in a dialogue between a “design constituency” and an “impact constituency” in which the technology’s materiality and sociality are co-determined. Second, this theory is applied to study the co-determination of AI technology. Finally affordance theory is combined with socio-legal theorising that understands fundamental rights as social institutions bundling normative expectations about individual and social autonomies. How do normative expectations about the affordances of AI technology emerge and how are they constitutionalised?

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, affordance theory, technological drama, normative expectations, constitutionalisation

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Graber, Christoph B., Artificial Intelligence, Affordances and Fundamental Rights (December 11, 2018). Forthcoming (2019), Mireille Hildebrandt and Kieron O’Hara (eds.), Life and the Law in the Era of Data-Driven Agency, Edward Elgar.; University of Zurich i-call Working Paper No. 02 (2018), Zurich, Switzerland: University of Zurich. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3299505

Christoph B. Graber (Contact Author)

University of Zurich, Faculty of Law ( email )

Treichlerstrasse 10
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.rwi.uzh.ch/lehreforschung/alphabetisch/graber_en.html

Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: https://cyber.harvard.edu/people/cgraber

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
55
rank
362,179
Abstract Views
311
PlumX Metrics