Ebers on Liability for AI and EU Consumer Law

Martin Ebers (Humboldt University of Berlin – Faculty of Law; University of Tartu, School of Law) has posted “Liability for Artificial Intelligence and EU Consumer Law” (Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The new Directives on Digital Contracts – the Digital Content and Services Directive (DCSD) 2019/770 and the Sale of Goods Directive (SGD) 2019/771 – are often seen as important steps in adapting European private law to the requirements of the digital economy. However, neither directive contains special rules for new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). In light of this issue, the following paper discusses whether existing EU consumer law is equipped to deal with situations in which AI systems are either used for internal purposes by companies or offered to consumers as the main subject matter of the contract. This analysis will reveal a number of gaps in current EU consumer law and briefly discuss upcoming legislation.

Johnson on Flexible Regulation for Artificial Intelligence

Walter G. Johnson (RegNet, Australian National University) has posted “Flexible Regulation for Dynamic Products? The Case of Applying Principles-Based Regulation to Medical Products Using Artificial Intelligence” (Law, Innovation and Technology 14(2)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) enable novel products to have dynamic and even self-modifying designs, challenging approval-based products regulation. This article uses a proposed framework by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to explore how flexible regulatory tools, specifically principles-based regulation, could be used to manage ‘dynamic’ products. It examines the appropriateness of principles-based approaches for managing the complexity and fragmentation found in the setting of dynamic products in terms of regulatory capacity and accountability, balancing flexibility and predictability, and the role of third parties. The article concludes that successfully deploying principles-based regulation for dynamic products will require taking serious lessons from the global financial crisis on managing complexity and fragmentation while placing equity at the centre of the framework.

Cohen on Lex Informatica to the Control Revolution

Julie E. Cohen (Georgetown University Law Center) has posted “From Lex Informatica to the Control Revolution (Berkeley Technology Law Journal 2022) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Legal scholarship on the encounter between networked digital technologies and law has focused principally on how legal and policy processes should respond to new technological developments and has spent much less time considering what that encounter might signify for the shape of legal institutions themselves. This essay focuses on the latter question. Within fields like technology studies, labor history, and economic sociology, there is a well-developed tradition of studying the ways that new information technologies and the “control revolution” they enabled—in brief, a quantum leap in the capacity for highly granular oversight and management—have elicited long-term, enduring changes in the structure and operation of economic organizations. I begin by considering some lessons of work in that tradition for law understood as a set of organizations constituted for the purpose of governance. Next, I turn the lens inward, offering some observations about techlaw scholarship that are essentially therapeutic. The disruptions of organizational change have affected scholars who teach, think, and write about techlaw in ways more profound than are commonly acknowledged and discussed. It seems fitting, in a symposium dedicated to Joel Reidenberg’s life and work, to use the process of grief as a device for exploring the arc of techlaw scholarship over its first quarter century. The fit is surprisingly good and the takeaways relatively clear: If, as I intend to suggest, the organizational forms that underpin our familiar legal institutions have been in the process of evolving out from under us, we still have choices to make about how legal institutions optimized for the information economy will be constituted. Finally, I identify two sets of important considerations that should inform the processes of organizational and institutional redesign.