Machines and Contractual Intent

7 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2022

See all articles by Seth Oranburg

Seth Oranburg

Duquesne University - School of Law

Date Written: January 6, 2022


Machines are making contracts—law is not ready. This paper describes why machine-made contracts do not fit easily into the common law of contracts or the Uniform Commercial Code for Sales. It discusses three ways to fit machine-made contracts into common law and discusses the challenges with each approach. Then it presents a new UCC Sales provision that uses Web3 concepts like blockchain to certify machine-made contracts in traditional legal systems.

This is an early stage work in progress for which I welcome comments, corrections, and clarifications!

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, Internet of Things, Smart Contracts, Web3, Blockchain

JEL Classification: K12, L, O

Suggested Citation

Oranburg, Seth, Machines and Contractual Intent (January 6, 2022). Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Seth Oranburg (Contact Author)

Duquesne University - School of Law ( email )

600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

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