Intelligent no-fault insurance for robots

David Levy
2020 Journal of Future Robot Life  
Artificial intelligence and robotics have become familiar features of everyday life, and are fast becoming ubiquitous in the developed world. The number of different uses for robots continues to expand, creating dramatic increases in the sales of robots, and hence the number of robots in everyday use. The merger of robots with AI software will mean an increase in the dangers created by many types of robot, as robots become increasingly autonomous and therefore act in unexpected ways. AI will
more » ... ng about new challenges, including dangers of physical injury and even death. These dangers compel us to ask the question -"When robots do wrong, who should pay?" In an earlier paper (Levy, 2012) I introduced the idea of a form of mandatory no-fault insurance, initially payable at the point of purchase of a robot by its owner, with technology to ensure that the owner renewed the insurance premiums when necessary, failing which the robot would cease to function. The present paper draws extensively on extracts from the sizeable and fast-growing literature on the subject that has sprouted in the intervening eight years, examining the question "Who should pay?". Within that literature traditional tortbased remedies have been discussed a plenty and expanded upon, including remedies based on the concept of a robot being regarded as some sort of quasi person who could itself be held responsible for committing a wrong, and therefore that the robot itself could be held legally liable to pay compensation. Another complication to add to the legal mix is the dramatic recent successes in the field of machine learning, allowing robots to learn and therefore to become unpredictable in their actions, as they modify their behaviour according to what they have learned. Diagnosing what was at fault in an accidentcausing learning robot will be difficult at the very least, and in many cases impossible. In addition to considering legal remedies for tort, the paper also examines forms of insurance. The paper recommends the no-fault insurance I proposed, extended by the use of machine learning techniques for the estimation of risks and the setting of insurance premiums. *
doi:10.3233/frl-200001 fatcat:clzis3umznfxpiqnwvr4uohr4u