AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) – The Legal Issues

The issues arising from these 2 interconnected domains are myriad and extremely complex.

The ethical and existential considerations are well documented and not relevant to our legal services but suffice it to say that Stephen Hawking thought that AI might replace humans.

From our perspective, the legal considerations which affect our clients are more mundane but still fundamental to the evolution and adaptation of the law and underpinning theories relating, amongst other things, to causation and privacy.

For specific legal services in this area, and in particular relating to GDPR, see Data Protection Law Services.

However, the concern here is that privacy no longer exists. AI allied with Big Data is deployed to track and predict our preferences in all spheres of life, whether it be places, people, shopping or political. We live in a global online marketplace and no one can seriously believe that infringements on our privacy/data protection rights will be eliminated by regulations and legislation such as GDPR, PECR2 and the Data Protection Act 2018. Without a truly global regime, bad actors will locate in remote jurisdictions and not be deterred by the new fines introduced by GDPR which can reach €20 million or 4% of the company’s global annual turnover.

Amongst those who will be particularly concerned by the intersection of AI, ML and privacy will be companies in the healthcare and financial services sectors.

Liability and Causation
Outside of the contractual sphere, most actions are founded on the theory of tort which covers the domain of negligence.

However, AI makes it difficult to pin responsibility on a particular entity as, allied with and enhanced by Machine Learning and Big Data, the technology may create an outcome which could not reasonably have been anticipated by the programmers. Thus the doctrine of causation is likely to be severely tested and undermined by new developments in this field.

Please click here to email Simon Halberstam, Head of Technology Law, or call 020 3206 2781.