Machine Performance and Human Failure: How Shall We Regulate Autonomous Machines?

Horst G. M. Eidenmueller
2019 Social Science Research Network  
But the mind that had once rebelled against the gods was about to dethrone itself by way of its own fabulous reach. In the compressed version, we would devise a machine a little cleverer than ourselves, then set that machine to invent another that lay beyond our comprehension. What need then of us?" 1 ABSTRACT Machines powered by artificial intelligence ("AI") are on the rise. In many use cases, their performance today already exceeds human capabilities. In this essay, I explore fundamental
more » ... latory issues related to such "autonomous machines." In doing so, I adopt an analytical perspective that highlights the importance of what this article refers to as the "deep normative structure" of a particular society for crucial policy choices with respect to autonomous machines. This paper makes two principal claims. First, the jargon of welfare economics appears well-suited to analyze the chances and risks of innovative new technologies, and it is also reflected in legal doctrine on risk, responsibility and regulation. A pure welfarist conception of "the good" will tend to move a society into a direction in which autonomous systems will eventually take a prominent role. However, such a conception assumes more than the welfarist calculus can yield, and it also ignores the categorical difference between machine and human characteristic of Western legal systems. Second, taking the "deep normative structure" of Western legal systems seriously
doi:10.2139/ssrn.3414602 fatcat:gatzcrh6cjgnbffit4eapd3lha