Product Liability for Defective AI

29 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2023 Last revised: 25 Jul 2023

Date Written: July 19, 2023


This paper explores how to define product defect for AI systems with autonomous capabilities. Defining defects under product liability is central in allocating liability for AI-related harm between producers or users. For autonomous AI systems, courts need to determine an acceptable failure rate and establish users’ responsibilities in monitoring these systems. This paper proposes tailoring liability standards to specific types of defects and implementing a risk-utility test based on AI design. This approach ensures that the liability framework adapts to the dynamic nature of AI and considers the varying levels of control manufacturers and users have over product safety. By adopting this approach, the paper promotes better risk management and the fair allocation of liability in AI-related accidents

Keywords: Liability rules, Artificial intelligence, EU product liability

JEL Classification: K40, K42, K13

Suggested Citation

Buiten, Miriam, Product Liability for Defective AI (July 19, 2023). Available at SSRN:

Miriam Buiten (Contact Author)

University of St.Gallen ( email )

St.Gallen, 9000

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