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
Date Written: October 9, 2021
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: Suggested Citation