Responsible AI: Binaries that Bind

18 Pages Posted: 29 May 2024

See all articles by Jennifer Raso

Jennifer Raso

McGill University, Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 23, 2024


This article examines responsible AI as a public law-like movement that seeks to (self-)regulate the design and use of AI systems. Using socio-legal methods, and the Montréal Declaration for a Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence as an illustrate example, it explores responsible AI's upshots for digital government. Responsible AI initiatives, this article argues, rely on two binary distinctions: (1) between artificial and natural intelligence, and (2) between the future and present/past effects of AI systems. These conceptual binaries "bind" such initiatives to an impoverished understanding of what AI systems are, how they operate, and how they might be governed. To realize justice and fairness, especially in digital government, responsible AI projects must reconceive of AI systems and their regulation infrastructurally and agonistically.

Keywords: Responsible AI, public law, digital government, regulation, Montreal Declaration

JEL Classification: K23, K19

Suggested Citation

Raso, Jennifer, Responsible AI: Binaries that Bind (April 23, 2024). McGill Law Journal, Vol. 69, No. 4, 2024, Available at SSRN:

Jennifer Raso (Contact Author)

McGill University, Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Room 506
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9

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