AI, on the Law of the Elephant: Toward Understanding Artificial Intelligence

94 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2020 Last revised: 5 Oct 2020

See all articles by Emile Loza de Siles

Emile Loza de Siles

Duquesne University School of Law; Technology Law Group; University of Maryland Global Campus

Date Written: August 28, 2020


Machine learning and other artificial intelligence (“AI”) systems are changing our world in profound, exponentially rapid, and likely irreversible ways. Although AI may be harnessed for great good, it is capable of and is doing great harm at scale to people, communities, societies, and democratic institutions. The dearth of AI governance leaves unchecked AI’s potentially existential risks. Whether sounding urgent alarm or merely jumping on the bandwagon, law scholars, law students, and lawyers at bar are contributing volumes of AI policy and legislative proposals, commentaries, doctrinal theories, and calls to corporate and international organizations for ethical AI leadership.

Profound concerns exist about AI and the actual and potential crises of societal, democratic, and individual harm that it causes or may cause in future. Compounding those deep concerns is lawyers’ lack of sufficient AI knowledge and technological competence, despite ethical mandates for diligence and competence. As a result, legal discussions and law and policy recommendations may be fundamentally flawed because they are constructed upon erroneous, uninformed, or misconceived understandings of AI technologies, inputs, and processes.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, law, machine learning, Algorithm, Statistical model, Governance, Ethics, Automated Decision, AI risk, Predictive system, Big data, Supervised learning, Neural network, Competency, Ethics, Taxonomy, Definition, Patent, Synthetic data, Imputed data, Derived data

Suggested Citation

Loza de Siles, Emile, AI, on the Law of the Elephant: Toward Understanding Artificial Intelligence (August 28, 2020). Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper No. 2020-15, Buffalo Law Review Vol. 69, Available at SSRN: or

Emile Loza de Siles (Contact Author)

Duquesne University School of Law ( email )

600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

Technology Law Group ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

University of Maryland Global Campus ( email )

3501 University Boulevard East
Adelphi, MD 20783
United States

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