Saudi Arabia grants nationality to an AI robot; the first “clash of robots” took place in Japan; and, Bill Gates suggests that robots start paying taxes. We believe that these developments justify new legal fiction interventions. Software has long now exceeded the intellectual property boundaries. It is no longer merely property; it has assumed life of its own. It does not matter that such life is imaginary today. Legal persons were brought to life through legal fiction intervention that was based on much less motivation – merely the human incentive for profit. Software is certainly connected today with profit, given that the world’s most valued corporations are software companies. However, it has moved much further than that, to assume in many ways artificial life of its own. We think that it is time that the dichotomy between natural and legal persons, that has served humanity so well over the past centuries, now be trisected: A new, digital person, ought to be added to it.
- Structuring modern life running on software. Recognizing (some) computer programs as new “digital persons”, Papakonstantinou V/De Hert P, Computer Law & Security Review, Volume 34, Issue 4, August 2018.
- Is the GDPR EU’s digital constitution? my presentation in the Europe Regulates Robotics conference, held in Pisa, 27-28 September 2018.
Presentation in the 1ST CYCLE OF LECTURES, Research Team on the Digital Economy and Private Law, Law School, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Spring Semester 2018/2019, April 2019
- Presentation on whether AI should be granted legal personality, during the CPDP2020, in a panel hosted by CDSL, together with Paul Nemitz, Giovanni Sartor and Daniele Bourcier, moderated by Dara Hallinan, January 2020.
Refusing to award legal personality to AI: Why the European Parliament got it wrong, Papakonstantinou V and De Hert Paul in European Law Blog, November 2020.