Legal Issues associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is a combination of a human intelligence and thinking capacities along with machines, when a machine conducts like a human being or animal, and displayed analytical and logical reasoning skills like a human, it is termed as “ Artificial Intelligence”(AI).  AI literally means use of a human intelligence not by a human, as it is artificial. It is a field in computer science, and AI can function like a human being without any human help. The rise of AI, has posed many challenges in the field of law. Many questions have arised regarding the legality of AI, its application, the legality of its actions, and the change that has to be brought in the books of law. The legal issues and challenges related to AI have been discussed as follows: 

  • Liability: It is the state of being legally responsible for something, if in case an offence which led to some damage has been committed by AI, who would be held liable, would it be the creator, the consumer or any other middleman. Law has to make new provision regarding the apportionment of liability in the case of AI. Even if the liability has been established, what would be the nature of the offence, civil or criminal, and what would be the punishments and penalties for the same. 
  •  Recognition of AI as a person/citizen: Should AI be recognised as a natural and legal human being and be bestowed with all the human rights, can we regard AI as a person who can fulfill human obligations, and should citizenship be granted to AI technologies like robots. These are issues which have made the legislature think about giving citizenship to robots. The law does not recognise a robot as a person, and if any offense has been committed by the robot, it is assumed that the manufacture, creator, and other parties are held responsible, but can they be held responsible is the question. A robot can be established for a particular reason, but there are things which are out of the control of the creator and actions can take place which have not been anticipated, when the mental intention to cause harm does not exist, can one be punished for the actions of their creation. The only nation which gives citizenship to a robot is Saudi Arabia, it has given citizenship to a humanoid robot named Sophia. 
  • Data Privacy: For AI to operate, lots of data has to be analysed, collected, processed and uploaded to a robot or any other AI technology, there are high risks where there can be misuse of personal data, which can lead to various cyber crimes. Measures have to taken regarding the security of the data which s being used, they have to be taken in such a way where confidentiality of sensitive information can be maintained. Even if such measures are taken some data can be leaked involuntarily. The Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 (Data Privacy Bill) in India, has been implemented recently which makes the organisations using the data accountable for its privacy, there is a provision which states that AI should have the right to forget information which may pose a threat. However this provision is still highly debatable, as forgetting it may affect the learning abilities of AI even more. 
  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): IPR are the rights given to intangible creations which have been created or invented out of human intellect. The four types of IPR are copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets, these are given for different creations according to the conditions specified. These rights give recognition and protection to all intangible creations. All the above rights do not take non-human or AI creation into consideration, so what if AI creates new things out of its intelligence, hence in the future the definition of the above rights may have to change, and no longer its traditional ways can be followed. 
  • Agreements and Contracts:  AI if used effectively and efficiently, can make up a perfect contact managing system, where all the disputes related to contracts could be solved using AI, The mechanism and procedures relating to drafting a contract can also be done by AI. In the future we can even expect smart contracts, where all the above functions will take place in the digital world, but for all these to happen either newer provisions or changes to older ones in the contract law has to be brought suitable to AI. 
  • Competition Law: AI will use different type of technology for it to function better than a normal human being, and the companies and firms who possess AI mabe in an advantaged position than its competitors, as use of AI can lead to better services to consumers, and accurate decisions of pricing strategies. AI can capture the situations in the market, and accordingly analyse the information and give proper steps which have to be taken by the firm. However, this is considered to be anti competitive and illegal under the Competition Act, 2002, which prohibits anti-competitive agreements and combinations, and firms having a dominant position over others. Competition shall be in a fair manner. Therefore changes have to be made in the law to make sure no one gets the benefit out of using AI as a protection to the activities taking place in the firm.

These are the major legal challenges that are being faced due to artificial intelligence, these are not all of them, but they constitute some of the important ones. We are presently in a fast moving generation, in it becomes vital to understand the legal and ethical implications of AI and its effects. AI has been proved to be beneficial in many ways, but if not controlled properly, may act as a threat to the dignity of the nation, and the only way this can be avoided is by making provisions in the present legislative framework regarding AI and it applicability. The provisions should be framed after taking into consideration all the above challenges, and effective follow up action should also be done. The stricter the legislation, the lesser the problems. All the above challenges and issues act as shortcomings or drawbacks to the field of law, the traditional legal frameworks is no longer applicable, it should be changed according to the situations prevailing around us. AI will continue to face such barriers as long as no change ir brought, it high time we recognise new technology in the world. 

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