When Robots Make Legal Mistakes

19 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2019 Last revised: 13 May 2020

See all articles by Susan C. Morse

Susan C. Morse

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law

Date Written: July 22, 2019

Abstract

The questions presented by robots’ legal mistakes are examples of the legal process inquiry that asks when the law will accept decisions as final, even if they are mistaken. Legal decision-making robots include market robots and government robots. In either category, they can make mistakes of undercompliance or overcompliance. A market robot’s overcompliance mistake or a government robot’s undercompliance mistake is unlikely to be challenged. On the other hand, government enforcement can challenge a market robot’s undercompliance mistake, and an aggrieved regulated party can object to a government robot’s overcompliance mistake. Especially if robots cannot defend their legal decisions due to a lack of explainability, they will have an incentive to make decisions that will avoid the prospect of challenge. This incentive could encourage counterintuitive results. For instance, it could encourage market robots to overcomply and government robots to undercomply with the law.

Keywords: robot, legal process, institutional settlement, standing, overcompliance, undercompliance, explainability

JEL Classification: K20, K23, K34, K42

Suggested Citation

Morse, Susan C., When Robots Make Legal Mistakes (July 22, 2019). Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 72, 2019, U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 709, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3424110

Susan C. Morse (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

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