Artificial Intelligence

(PYS) When an AI writes the screenplay for a hit film, who gets the credit?  What about the copyright?

(PYS) Assuming technology increases to the point where humans offload some memory and processing to "pocket computers" should the computers hard drives be admissible as evidence (ie  should the req. to be able to confront your accuser still apply)? Should they be subpoena-able (5th amend issues)?

(RP) Sentience can be defined as the capacity for self-awareness, abstraction, and subjective experiences; alternatively, it can be defined as the capacity to experience pain and suffering. Human level AIs may not be sentient under either definition. Is this erroneous? Does this mean traditional concerns tied to sentience should not apply to AIs, such as the right to own ones' self or the right to certain standards of treatment?

(RP) Is a human level AI a “peer?” Should the inability of an AI to empathize or sympathize disqualify them from serving on a jury? When reasonable people disagree on a contested issue, this is chalked up to subjective decision making. AIs come to decisions weighing data unencumbered with emotional components—if a jury question doesn't have enough quantifiable data to reach an answer, is an RNG decision a satisfactory substitute (this essentially what humans do)?

(RP) Pretend that consciousness is NP-complete. In other words, any algorithm created to approximate consciousness could not create a “thought” in the
manner of human thinking in polynomial time. Pretend also that human level AI is sufficient to give AIs the full spectrum of human rights. Without consciousness, any AI decision is necessarily deterministic; does that mean all AI crimes should be strict liability?

(PH)  If an AI robot may be held criminally liable, what punishment should it receive for a crime?  Is prison sufficient?  Should every offense result in shutting the AI program off?  Can artificial intelligence be protected under the 8th Amendment?

(PH) Although an Artificial Intelligence robot may think and reason for itself, wouldn’t it be susceptible to “viruses” just as humans are?  Couldn’t these viruses potentially result in serious harm to human beings?  With this in mind, will a country with a significant AI robot population have health care systems for the robots?  Can the government require a robot install anti-virus software?

(AC) Should a self-conscious computer facing the prospect of imminent unplugging have standing to bring a claim of battery?

(AC) If we agree that a machine could potentially be a candidate for rights, we still must answer: Which machines and which rights? What would a computer have to do to deserve legal or moral personhood?

(AC) With complex computer systems consisting of a combination of overlapping programs created by different coders, it is often difficult to know who should bear moral blame or legal liability for a computer action that produces an injury. Should the coder(s), manufacturer(s), user(s), or the AI itself be blameworthy/liable for harm caused by an AI gone awry?

(AC) Can society impose criminal liability upon robots? If so, how do you punish an AI robot?

(AC) If an AI entity can be held criminally liable for an offense, can it raise a defense of insanity in relation to a malfunctioning AI algorithm, when its analytical capabilities have become corrupted as a result of that malfunction? May it assert a defense of being under the influence of an intoxicating substance (similar to humans being under the influence of alcohol or drugs) if its operating system is infected by an electronic virus?

Virtual Reality

(RP) Pretend that you choose to “exist” in VR while I stay in real life. In your VR world, you invent a device that has never been seen or thought of before, but only works by virtue of the fact that you exist in VR. In the real worl d, I independently invent a similar device that actually works. Is your device prior art, or can it have priority over mine? More importantly, should work in the “real world” have a legal presumption as being more valuable than virtual work?

(PYS)  Who owns the information associated with your VR world identity?  Do you?  Does the company running the VR world?  Does the company storing the data (if its different)?  And what consequences exist for deleting it -- purposeful or not.

(PH) In the virtual reality realm, for example, in World of Warcraft, is tort law applicable?  What about the fact that many people play these games with the idea of selling their characters in the real, rather than virtual world? 

(DF) Will virtual reality create new sorts of intellectual property--in a fictional universe? If I have a very popular VR game, can you set your new game in a different part of the same invented world/history as mine?

(DF) What rights can the firm running an online game like World of Warcraft establish by contract? In particular

1: Can they control the sale of in game items for real money outside of the game?

2: Can they disavow liability if something goes wrong with their server and the character you have spent two years building up and identifying with no longer exists?

(PYS) What are the moral and legal implications of raising children, in whole or in part, in a parentally-created VR that the children don’t consent to or know they are participating in? 

Legal Research on VR from past years.

Legal Research on the question of virtual infidelity.

Legal Research on whether a machine is alive.

Legal Research on A.I. from Patrick Hensleigh

Legal Research on A.I. from Angus Cannon

AC: Angus Cannon
PYS: Previous Year's Student
DF: David Friedman
PH: Patrick Hensleigh
RP: Rick Prasad

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