Artificial Intelligence and Law
The study of artificial intelligence and law dates back several decades, when computer systems that could problem solve and perform tasks previously only performed by humans became a reality. An AI lawyer deals with a variety of exciting and cutting edge computer, machine and robotic based technologies, including even biotechnologies.
Even though the combination of artificial intelligence and the law has been around for decades, it has evolved more than ever imagined. Conceptions such as drones and AI-based space technologies weren’t yet conceptualized. Also, now there are pharmaceutical and biological components in the world of biotechnology to consider.
An AI lawyer and people making AI laws help to make these innovations suitable and ethical for the modern age. These innovations must now undergo analysis from a legal perspective.
The Future of AI Law
The immediate future of artificial intelligence law is subject to massive change. A popular cause of this change is figuring out how to regulate “hot-button” issues. For example, regulation issues that fall under this category include:
- Autonomous vehicles (vehicles that drive themselves)
- Robot Machinery
- Smart software and applications (e.g., Waze; Amazon’s “Alexa”)
Tremendous breakthroughs continue to emerge in the world of artificial intelligence, such as robotic computing, biotechnology, and autonomous vehicles. This also includes airplanes. These breakthroughs will need society to make some hard, reflective decision making. This is one of the most exciting time periods in the history of law.
AI Lawyer Basics
AI lawyers focus on clients who have novel inventions and ideas. In particular, unregulated invention ideas. AI lawyers helps their clients to create the appropriate regulatory schemes for their field and market. For instance, an autonomous vehicle maker will need to follow the regulation in manufacturing and testing their vehicles.
An AI lawyer should be well-versed in the regulatory laws regarding autonomous vehicles and would help your business avoid fines or legal punishments if their vehicles did not comply with the requirements.
A good AI lawyer does not just know the laws regarding your technology but is also able to analyze the technical issues related to your products, field and market. So your AI lawyer should have both a solid background in the law in general and also a technical background or otherwise have the ability to understand the relevant technical issues.
Key Criteria to Find an AI Lawyer
You are a client and you want the best results for your company and its product(s). You will need to find an AI lawyer with the appropriate background and experience. Here are some things to you will be looking for in an AI lawyer:
Intellectual Property Background
An AI lawyer should have an intellectual property law background. Because AI is so innovative and novel, it is going to require a lot of legal protection. This protection usually takes the form of patents.
A patent is an intellectual property protection that gives the inventor of a unique invention the exclusive right to create, use, sell and import his/her/its invention for a certain number of years.
Technical Experience or Comfort
Your AI lawyer should have a certain degree of technical education, experience or comfort. This could mean that he or she had an undergraduate degree or minor in a technical field, such as engineering or computer science. Or perhaps he or she worked in a technical field for some time.
As long as the AI lawyer has the understanding necessary of the technology you are using, he or she should be aware of the best ways to protect your technology and ensure it is in compliance.
Understanding of Government Regulatory Compliance
In looking for an AI lawyer, be sure he or she has a solid understanding of government regulatory compliance, as that will be a large part of what your AI lawyer will assist you with. You are in need of an AI lawyer, so you probably have a good handle on your technology and what you want to create or have already created.
You probably don’t, however, have a great understanding of the complex laws that govern how your product must be manufactured or tested or introduced into the market. This is where an AI lawyer will really help make an impact on your business.
Ability to Litigate
Hopefully you have worked with a great AI lawyer and therefore you have followed all the regulatory compliance laws and have not infringed on someone else’s intellectual property. However, the reality is that we live in a world where people often have legal disputes, especially in the business world. The cutting edge world of AI is no exception. An AI lawyer with experience in litigating AI matters will be a fierce weapon to have in any instance of a problem.
In short, finding the right AI lawyer will help you sail the unsteady waters of artificial intelligence law. These issues are novel and innovative; the law is constantly struggling to catch up and is changing rapidly just as the technologies are constantly changing.
Yet an AI lawyer with: a solid intellectual property background, the ability to understand your technology, an understanding of the appropriate regulatory compliance, and the ability to litigate, if necessary, will help to ensure you can reveal your amazing technology to the world.
Want To Learn More About Artificial Intelligence?
Perhaps you’d like to learn more about artificial intelligence and the law. There are plenty of good resources available. Bloomberg issues several periodicals and publications. LexisNexis provides the same categories of content. Westlaw is also another great source for AI legal publications. Most of these resources are available online.
Additionally, you can visit university websites to receive critical legal issues and studies. These are storage places for widespread dissemination of academic information. Above all, I would recommend Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.