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Communications of the ACM

Letters to the editor

Teach the Law (and the AI) 'Foreseeability'

Letters to the Editor

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Ryan Calo's "law and Technology" Viewpoint "Is the Law Ready for Driverless Cars?" (May 2018) explored the implications, as Calo said, of " ... genuinely unforeseeable categories of harm" in potential liability cases where death or injury is caused by a driverless car. He argued that common law would take care of most other legal issues involving artificial intelligence in driverless cars, apart from such "foreseeability."

Calo also said the courts have worked out problems like AI before and seemed confident that AI foreseeability will eventually be accommodated. One can agree with this overall judgment but question the time horizon. AI may be quite different from anything the courts have seen or judged before for many reasons, as the technology is indeed designed to someday make its own decisions. After the fact, it may be impossible to ascertain the reasons for or logic behind its decisions.


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