The Complexity of Criminal Liability of AI Systems
Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. As we anticipate a rapid increase in artificial intelligence (AI), we may soon find ourselves dealing with fully autonomous technology with the capacity to cause harm and injuries. What then? Who is going to be held accountable if AI systems harm us?
Currently there is no answer to this question and the existing regulatory framework falls short in addressing the accountability regime of autonomous systems. This paper analyses criminal liability of AI systems, evaluated under the existing rules of criminal law. It highlights the social and legal implications of the current criminal liability regime as it is applied to the complex nature of industrial robots. Finally, the paper explores whether corporate liability is a viable option and what legal standards are possible for imposing criminal liability on the companies who deploy AI systems.
The paper reveals that traditional criminal law and legal theory are not well positioned to answer the questions at hand, as there are many practical problems that require further evaluation. I have demonstrated that with the development of AI, more questions will surface and legal frameworks will inevitably need to adapt. The conclusions of this paper could be the basis for further research.
 Anderson, J. Rainie, L. and Luchsinger, A. (2018) Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans. [online] Washington DC: Pew Research Center. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/12/10/artificial-intelligence-and-the-future-of-humans/ [Accessed 23 January 2019].
 Asaro, P.M. (2006) What Should We Want From a Robot Ethic?. International Review of Information Ethics, 6 (12), pp. 2–15. Available from: http://cybersophe.com/writing/Asaro IRIE.pdf [Accessed 20 January 2019].
 Asaro, P.M. (2016) The Liability Problem for Autonomous Artificial Agents. In: Bipin Indurkhya and Georgi Stojanov (eds.). AAAI Symposium on Ethical and Moral Considerations in Non-Human Agents, Stanford, 21–23 March. USA: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 190–194. Available from: https://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/SSS/SSS16/paper/view/12699 [Accessed 29 December 2018].
 Bass, D. (2018) Microsoft Says AI Advances Will Require New Laws, Regulations. [online] New York City: Bloomberg L.P. Available from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-18/microsoft-says-ai-advances-will-require-new-laws-regulations [Accessed 21 January 2019].
 Bekoff, M. (2015) Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons: A First Two Chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, Are Determined to Be Persons in NY Court. [online] Available from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/201504/judgerecognizes-two-chimpanzees-legal-persons-first [Accessed 02 December 2018].
 Brown v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. (1987) 514 So. 2d 439. Available from: https://law.justia.com/cases/louisiana/supreme-court/1987/87-c-0726-0-1.html [Accessed 20 December 2018].
 Bryson, J. and Theodorou, A. (2019) How Society Can Maintain Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence. In: Marja Toivonen and Eveliina Saari (eds.). Human Centered Digitalization and Services. Singapore: Springer, pp. 305–323. Available from: http://www.cs.bath.ac.uk/~jjb/ftp/BrysonTheodorou19.pdf [Accessed 20 January 2019]. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-7725-9_16
 Bucy, P.H. (1991) Corporate Ethos: A Standard for Imposing Corporate Criminal Liability. Minnesota Law Review, 75.
 Calo, R. (2011) Open Robotics. Maryland Law Review, 70 (3). Available from: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1706293 [Accessed 25 January 2019].
 Calo, R. (2016) Robots in American Law. University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-042. Available from: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2737598 [Accessed 22 June 2019].
 Cardi, W.J. (2005) Purging Foreseeability: The New Vision of Duty and Judicial Power in the Proposed Restatement (Third) of Torts W. Vanderbilt Law Review, 58 (3). Available from: https://wakespace.lib.wfu.edu/handle/10339/58895 [Accessed 15 October 2018].
 Carpenter, C.L. (2003) On Statutory Rape, Strict Liability, and the Public Welfare Offense Model. American University Law review, 53 (2), pp. 313–391.
 Čerka, P., Grigienė, J. and Sirbikytė, G. (2017) Is It Possible to Grant Legal Personality to Artificial Intelligence Software Systems?. Computer Law and Security Review, 33 (5), pp. 685–699. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clsr.2017.03.022
 Chadwick, P. (2018) To Regulate AI We Need New Laws, Not Just a Code of Ethics. The Guardian, 28 October. [online] Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/28/regulate-ai-new-laws-code-of-ethics-technology-power [Accessed 20 January 2019].
 Chengeta, T. (2016) Accountability Gap: Autonomous Weapon Systems and Modes of Responsibility in International Law. Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, 45 (1). https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2755211
 Civil Law Rules on Robotics, European Parliament Resolution of 16 February 2017 with Recommendations to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics (2015/2103(INL)), 16 February. Available from: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P8-TA-2017-0051&language=EN&ring=A8-2017-0005 [Accessed 03 January 2019].
 Colvin, E. (1995) Corporate Personality and Criminal Liability. Criminal Law Forum, 6 (1). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01095717
 Constance B. v. State of California. (1986) 178 Cal. App. 3d 200, 206. Available from: https://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/178/200.html [Accessed 20 December 2018].
 Council Directive 85/374/EEC of 25 July 1985 on the Approximation of the Laws, Regulations and Administrative Provisions of the Member States Concerning Liability for Defective Products. Official Journal of the European Union (L 210), 25 July. Available from: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:31985L0374 [Accessed 23 January 2019].
 Deep Knowledge Analytics. (2018) Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK. [online] London: DKA. Available from: https://www.dka.global/ai-in-uk-report [Accessed 12 May 2019].
 Dragatsi, H. (2011) Criminal Liability of Canadian Corporations for International Crimes. Canada: Thomson Reuters.
 Estabrook v. J.C. Penney Co. (1970) 464 P.2d 325 (In Banc.). Available from: https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/1247130/estabrook-v-jc-penney-company/ [Accessed 20 December 2018].
 Fang, L. (2018) Google and Facebook Are Quietly Fighting California’s Privacy Rights Initiative, Emails Reveal. [online] First Look Media. Available from: https://theintercept.com/2018/06/26/google-and-facebook-are-quietly-fighting-californias-privacy-rightsinitiative-emails-reveal/ [Accessed 23 January 2019].
 Freitas, P.M., Andrade, F. and Novais, P. (2014) Criminal Liability of Autonomous Agents: From the Unthinkable to the Plausible. In: Pompeu Casanovas, Ugo Pagallo, Monica Palmirani and Giovanni Sartor (eds.). AI Approaches to the Complexity of Legal Systems. Berlin: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-45960-7_11
 Gaur, K.D. (2003) Principles of Criminal Liability. In: K.D. Gaur (ed.). Criminal Law and Criminology. New Delhi: Deep and Deep Publications.
 Geistfeld, M.A. (2017) A Roadmap for Autonomous Vehicles: State Tort Liability, Automobile Insurance, and Federal Safety Regulation. California Law Review, 105.
 Gless, S. Silverman, E. and Weigend, T. (2016) If Robots Cause Harm, Who Is to Blame? Self-Driving Cars and Criminal Liability. New Criminal Law Review, 19 (3). https://doi.org/10.1525/nclr.2016.19.3.412
 Grace, K. et al. (2018) Viewpoint: When Will AI Exceed Human Performance? Evidence from AI Experts. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 62, pp. 729–754. https://doi.org/10.1613/jair.1.11222
 Hallevy, G. (2010) ‘I, Robot – I, Criminal’ – When Science Fiction Becomes Reality: Legal Liability of AI Robots Committing Criminal Offenses. Syracuse Science and Technology Law Reporter, 22 (spring).
 Hallevy, G. (2013) When Robots Kill: Artificial Intelligence under Criminal Law. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
 Hallevy, G. (2015) Liability for Crimes Involving Artificial Intelligence Systems. Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10124-8
 Houvast, F. Timmerman, R. and Zwaan, Y. (2018) Exploring the Legal Rights & Obligations of Robots: A Legal Book Review of I, Robot by Isaac Asimov reviewed in Law & Literature Project, Utrecht University.
 Hubbard, P. (2014) 'Sophisticated Robots’: Balancing Liability, Regulation, and Innovation. Florida Law Review, 66 (5), pp. 1803–1872.
 Judicial Council of California. (2017) California Civil Jury Instruction 2017 Edition (“CACI”) No. 401. [online] Available from: https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/400/401/ [Accessed 20 December 2018].
 Karnow, C.E.A. (1996) Liability for Distributed Artificial Intelligences. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 11 (1), pp. 147–204. Available from: http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/btlj/vol11/iss1/3 [Accessed 29 November 2018].
 Karnow, C.E.A. (2013) The Application of Traditional Tort Theory to Embodied Machine Intelligence. In: Ryan Calo, Michael Froomkin, Ian Kerr (eds.). Robot Law. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, pp. 51–77. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781783476732.00010
 Kelley, R. et al. (2010) Liability in Robotics: An International Perspective on Robots as Animals. Advanced Robotics, 24 (13), pp. 1861–1871. https://doi.org/10.1163/016918610X527194
 Lawrence, F. (2000) In Defense of Corporate Criminal Liability. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 23 (3).
 Lederman, E. (2000) Models for Imposing Corporate Criminal Liability: From Adaptation and Imitation Toward Aggregation and the Search for Self-Identity. Buffalo Criminal Law Review, 4 (1), pp. 641–708. https://doi.org/10.1525/nclr.2000.4.1.641
 Manjoo, F. (2016) Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future. N.Y. Times, 20 January. [online] Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/technology/techs-frightful-5-will-dominate-digital-life-for-foreseeable-future.html [Accessed 10 January 2019].
 Meyer, D. (2017) Inside the EPrivacy Regulation’s Furious Lobbying War. [online] Kansas City: IAAP. Available from: https://iapp.org/news/a/inside-the-eprivacy-regulationsurious-lobbying-war/ [Accessed 23 January 2019].
 Meyer, J.A. (2007) Authentically Innocent: Juries and Federal Regulatory Crimes. Hastings Law Journal, 59 (1).
 Morissette v. United States. (1952) 342 U.S. 246. Available from: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/342/246/ [Accessed 28 January 2019].
 Muchlinski, P.T. (2007) Multinational Enterprises and the Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/law:iic/9780199227969.book.1
 Murphy, M. (2017) Stephen Hawking: AI Could Be Best – or Worst – Thing in Human History. [online] New York City: MarketWatch. Available from: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/stephen-hawking-ai-could-be-best-or-worst-thing-in-human-history-2017-11-06 [Accessed 29 October 2018].
 Nemitz, P. (2018) Constitutional Democracy and Technology in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. [in press] Submitted to: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. Available from: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3234336 [Accessed 07 January 2019].
 Osborne, S. (2017) Elon Musk Calls for Urgent Laws on Robot as They Will Soon Be Risk to Public. Express, 28 November. [online] Available from: https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/885344/elon-musk-artificial-intelligence-robotics-regulation [Accessed 29 October 2018].
 Owen, D. (2009) Figuring Foreseeability. Wake Forest Law Review, 44, pp. 1277–1307.
 Palmer, A. (2010) Autonomous UAS: a partial solution to America’s future airpower needs. [pre-print] Submitted to: Air University in partial fulfillment of the graduation requirements. Available from: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1018416.pdf [Accessed 29 November 2018].
 Pasquale, F. (2015) The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. https://doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674736061
 Pratt, G.A. (2015) Is a Cambrian Explosion Coming for Robotics?. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29 (3). https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.29.3.51
 Radutniy, O.E. (2017) Criminal Liability of the Artificial Intelligence. Problems of Legality, 138. https://doi.org/10.21564/2414-990x.138.105661
 Reitz, M.J. (2013) Strict Liability and Public Welfare Offenses. [online] Midland: Mackinac Center. Available from: https://www.mackinac.org/19579 [Accessed 21 January 2019].
 Retto, J. (2017) Sophia, First Citizen Robot of the World. [online] Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321319964_SOPHIA_FIRST_CITIZEN_ROBOT_OF_THE_WORLD [Accessed 29 November 2018].
 Robertson, J. (2014) Human Rights vs. Robot Rights: Forecasts from Japan. Critical Asian Studies, 46 (4), pp. 571–598. https://doi.org/10.1080/14672715.2014.960707
 Robotics Open Letter. (2017) Open Letter to the European Commission Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. [online] Available from: http://www.robotics-openletter.eu/ [Accessed 20 January 2019].
 Roff, H.M. (2013) Killing in War: Responsibility, Liability and Lethal Autonomous Robots. In: Fritz Allhoff, Nicholas Evans and Adam Henschke (eds.). Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War: Just War Theory in the 21st Century. Routledge Press.
 Rothblatt, M. and Angelica, A.D. (2003) Bio-Cyber-Ethics: Should We Stop a Company from Unplugging an Intelligent Computer?. [blog entry] 28 September. Available from: http://www.kurzweilai.net/biocyberethics-should-we-stop-a-company-from-unpluggingan-intelligent-computer [Accessed 24 October 2018].
 Sparrow, R. (2007) Killer Robots. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 24 (1). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5930.2007.00346.x
 Sperino, S. (2010) A Modern Theory of Direct Corporate Liability for Title VII. Faculty Articles and Other Publications Paper 230. Available from: https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1233&context=fac_pubs [Accessed 21 January 2019].
 Staples v. United States. (1994) 511 U.S. 600. Available from: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/511/600/ [Accessed 28 January 2019].
 Stoitchkova, D. (2010) Towards Corporate Liability in International Criminal Law. Utrecht: Utrecht University.
 Suhariyanto, B. (2018) Corporate Criminal Liability Under the Reactive Corporate Fault to Achieve Good Corporate Governance in Indonesia. In: A. Raharjo and T. Sudrajat (eds.). The 1st International Conference on Law, Governance and Social Justice, Purwokerto, 25–26 September. Les Ulis: EDP Sciences. Available from: https://www.shs-conferences.org/articles/shsconf/pdf/2018/15/shsconf_icolgas2018_07009.pdf [Accessed 20 January 2019]. https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20185407009
 Toon, J. (2017) Swarms of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles Test New Dogfighting Skills. [online] Atlanta: GeorgiaTech. Available from: http://www.rh.gatech.edu/news/590743/swarmsautonomous-aerial-vehicles-test-new-dogfighting-skills [Accessed 15 May 2019].
 Vojislav, K. (2001) Learning and Soft Computing: Support Vector Machines, Neutral Networks and Fuzzy Logic Models. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
 Whittaker, M. et al. (2018) AI Now Report. [online] New York City: AI Now Institute. Available from: https://ainowinstitute.org/AI_Now_2018_Report.pdf [Accessed 19 December 2018].
 Willick, M. (1983) Artificial Intelligence: Some Legal Approaches and Implications. AI Magazine, 4 (2). Available from: https://aaai.org/ojs/index.php/aimagazine/article/view/392 [Accessed 29 November 2018].
 Wootson, C. (2017) Saudi Arabia, Which Denies Women Equal Rights, Makes a Robot a Citizen. [online] Available from: https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/saudi-arabia-which-denieswomen-equal-rights-makes-a-robot-a-citizen-1768666 [Accessed 20 January 2019].
 Zerk, J.A. (2006) Multinationals and Corporate Social Responsibility: Limitations and Opportunities in International Law. New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511494864
Copyright (c) 2020 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology