Complex Algorithmic Law
10 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2022 Last revised: 4 May 2022
Date Written: March 9, 2022
Professor Omri Ben-Shahar and Ariel Porat’s book, Personalized Law: Different Rules for Different People, is, to state the obvious, about the personalization of law. Less obviously, though, the book is not mostly about technology. True, it is full of wonderful—and I think prescient—science-fictional vignettes imagining a world where many human actions are governed by personalized microrules. And true, Professors Ben-Shahar and Porat write throughout that it is “algorithms”—not people—that will mine vast troves of data, make predictions about individuals’ preferences and behavior, and use those predictions to issue personalized commands. Nevertheless, Ben-Shahar and Porat remain mostly agnostic about what they mean by “algorithms”—the core technology needed to implement personalized law.
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