Liability for Robots I: Legal Challenges

Guerra, A., Parisi, F., & Pi, D. (2021). Liability for robots I: Legal challenges. Journal of Institutional Economics, 1-13. doi:10.1017/S1744137421000825

13 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021 Last revised: 30 Nov 2021

See all articles by Alice Guerra

Alice Guerra

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

Daniel Pi

University of Maine - School of Law

Date Written: October 9, 2021

Abstract

In robot torts, robots carry out activities that are partially controlled by a human operator. Several legal and economic scholars across the world have argued for the need to rethink legal remedies as we apply them to robot torts. Yet to date, there exists no general formulation of liability in case of robot accidents, and the proposed solutions differ across jurisdictions. We proceed in our research with a set of two companion papers. In this paper, we present the novel problems posed by robot accidents, and assess the legal challenges and institutional prospects that policymakers face in the regulation of robot torts. In the companion paper, we build on the present analysis and use an economic model to propose a new liability regime which blends negligence-based rules and strict manufacturer liability rules to create optimal incentives for robot torts.

Keywords: liability; robots; automated technology; electronic legal personhood

JEL Classification: K13, K32

Suggested Citation

Guerra, Alice and Parisi, Francesco and Pi, Daniel, Liability for Robots I: Legal Challenges (October 9, 2021). Guerra, A., Parisi, F., & Pi, D. (2021). Liability for robots I: Legal challenges. Journal of Institutional Economics, 1-13. doi:10.1017/S1744137421000825, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3939477 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3939477

Alice Guerra (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Bologna
Italy

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

Daniel Pi

University of Maine - School of Law ( email )

246 Deering Avenue
Portland, ME 04102
United States

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