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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Who Is Liable when AI Kills?

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Illustration of an autonomous vehicle navigating a roadway.

The benefits of AI should not be undercut by poorly developed algorithms: 21st-century AI demands a 21st-century liability system.

Credit: Sergeii Aremenko/Science Photo Library/ Getty Images

Our current liability system—which determines responsibility and payment for injuries—is completely unprepared for artificial intelligence (AI). Liability rules were designed for a time when humans caused the majority of mistakes or injuries. Thus, most liability frameworks place punishments on the person who caused an injury.

With AI, errors may occur without any human input at all. The liability system needs to adjust accordingly. Bad liability policy will harm patients, consumers, and AI developers. The time to think about liability is now—right as AI becomes ubiquitous but remains underregulated.

From Scientific American
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