AI and Contract Law
in Florian Martin-Bariteau & Teresa Scassa, eds., Artificial Intelligence and the Law in Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2021)
25 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2020 Last revised: 4 Mar 2022
Date Written: February 1, 2021
Contracts are now an essential regulator of both commercial and social relationships. The increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in contracting does not pose significant challenges to contract law. Indeed, the Canadian legal framework is already responsive to contracts drafted, negotiated, agreed upon, or executed by automated systems. Through a functional approach, both civil and common law contract doctrine interface quite well with the use of AI in contractual relationships. While presenting opportunities, the use of AI to draft, form, or enforce contracts presents many risks for controllers, for lawyers, and especially for vulnerable parties. While these social justice issues are not new, AI further amplifies injustices and further polarizes asymmetrical relationships. As a result, the growing use of AI calls for an immediate and profound revisiting of Canadian contractual doctrine, notably to promote transparency and accountability, and to protect vulnerable parties.
Keywords: AI, contract, canada, smart contract
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