Lex Ex Machina: Reasons for Algorithmic Regulation

Mirko Pečarič


A major unanswered question in regulation concerns the application of cognitive diversity and various data as inputs for the creation of general legal rules. The paper claims this diversity can be assured with the help of algorithmic planning. Classical regulation is hence put under question due to its inability to quickly adapt to changing conditions, where relations per se change also intentions, tools and goals. The paper proposes two paths towards a computational simulation of legal situations: with the help of algorithms that can ensure the needed adaptability and relevancy of hidden data correlations, and with collective intelligence based on human inputs where data for algorithms is not available. The aim of this work is to extend the pre-regulatory practice of extracting information from data with the help of algorithms to determine patterns and predict future results and trends (written now as general legal rules). Nowadays, algorithms could be used at least as advice, especially in a prepreparation, draft phase of legal acts.


Planning, Anticipation, Adaptive Legislation, Autopilot, Stochastic Indicators, Algorithms

Full Text:


Show references Hide references

[1] Ackoff, R.L. (1978) The Art of Problem Solving: Accompanied by Ackoff’s Fables. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
[2] Aggarwal, I. & Woolley, A.W. (2019) Team creativity, cognition, and cognitive style diversity. Management Science, 65, 1586-1599. https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2017.3001
[3] Aggarwal, I. et al. (2019) The impact of cognitive style diversity on implicit learning in teams. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 112. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00112
[4] Aouadni, I. & Rebai, A. (2017) Decision support system based on genetic algorithm and multi-criteria satisfaction analysis (MUSA) method for measuring job satisfaction. Annals of Operations Research, 256, 3-20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-016-2154-z
[5] Arendt, H. (1972) Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics, Civil Disobedience on Violence, Thoughts on Politics, and Revolution. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego.
[6] Arendt, H. (1973) The Origins of Totalitarianism. A Harvest Book, San Diego; New York; London.
[7] Aristotle. (2007) On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
[8] Artosi, A., Pieri, B. & Sartor, G. (2013) Leibniz: Logico-Philosophical Puzzles in the Law: Philosophical Questions and Perplexing Cases in the Law. Springer Science & Business Media, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5192-7
[9] Ashby, W.R. (1960) Design for a Brain: The Origin of Adaptive Behavior. Chapman and Hall, London. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.7309
[10] Ashby, W.R. (1957) An Introduction to Cybernetics. Chapman and Hall, London. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3060436
[11] Asimov, I. (1991) Robot Visions. New American Library, New York.
[12] Bar-Siman-Tov, I. (2020) Covid-19 meets politics: the novel coronavirus as a novel challenge for legislatures. The Theory and Practice of Legislation, 1-38. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3603137
[13] Barnett, J., Soares, A.K. & Treleaven, P. (2017) Algorithms and the Law. Available from: http://www.jeremybarnett.co.uk/algorithms-and-the-law [Accessed 21 October 2020].
[14] Bauman, Z. (1989) Legislators and Interpreters. Polity Press, Cambridge.
[15] Bauman, Z. (2009) Modernity and the Holocaust. Polity Press, Malden.
[16] Beer, S. (1959) Cybernetics and Management. The English University Press LTD, London. https://doi.org/10.1108/03684920210417283
[17] Beer, S. (1966) Decision and Control: The Meaning of Operational Research and Management Cybernetics. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.
[18] Beer, S. (1981) Brain of the Firm: A Development in Management Cybernetics. McGraw-Hill, New York.
[19] Beer, S. (1994) Beyond Dispute: The Invention of Team Syntegrity. Wiley, Chichester; New York.
[20] Beer, S. (2002) What is cybernetics. Kybernetes, 31, 209-219.
[21] Bentham, J. (1843) The Works of Jeremy Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation, Fragment on Government, Civil Code, Penal Law. William Tait, Edinburgh.
[22] Bertalanffy, L.V. (1968) General system theory: foundations, development, applications. George Braziller, New York.
[23] Bingham, T. (2011) The Rule of Law. Penguin UK, London.
[24] Boltanski, L. & Thévenot, L. (2006) On Justification. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford.
[25] Bukharov, O.E. & Bogolyubov, D.P. (2015) Development of a decision support system based on neural networks and a genetic algorithm. Expert Systems with Applications, 42, 6177-6183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2015.03.018
[26] Carnap, R. (1966) Philosophical Foundation of Physics: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Basic Books, New York.
[27] Christian, B. & Griffiths, T. (2016) Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions. Henry Holt and Co., New York.
[28] Cicero, M.T. (1853) The Treatises of M.T. Cicero: On the Nature of the Gods; On Divination; On Fate; On the Republic; On the Laws; and On Standing for the Consulship. H. G. Bohn, London.
[29] Citron, D.K. (2008) Technological Due Process. Washington University Law Review, 85, 1249-1313.
[30] Citron, D.K. (2016) Big Data Should Be Regulated by ‘Technological Due Process’.
[31] Cuttica, C. & Burgess, G. (2015) Monarchism and Absolutism in Early Modern Europe. Routledge, London and New York. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315655499
[32] D’Amato, A. (1977) Can/Should Computers Replace Judges? Georgia Law Review, 11, 1277-1301.
[33] Dennet, D.C. (2012) Pojasnjena zavest. Krtina, Ljubljana.
[34] Desai, D.D. & Kroll, J.A. (2017) Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, 31, 1-64.
[35] Dworkin, R. (1978) Taking Rights Seriously. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
[36] Einstein, A. (1960) Ideas and Opinions. Crown Publishers, Inc., New York.
[37] Fayol, H. (1954) General and Industrial Management. Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., London.
[38] Feltz, B., Crommelinck, M. & Goujon, P. (2006) Self-organization and Emergence in Life Sciences. Springer Science & Business Media, https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3917-4
[39] Ferrucci, D. et al. (2013) Watson: Beyond Jeopardy! Artificial Intelligence, 93-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artint.2012.06.009
[40] Foucault, M. (1978) The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction. Vintage Books, New York.
[41] Foucault, M. (2001) Power (The Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984). The New Press, New York.
[42] Foucault, M. (2004) Naissance de la biopolitique. Seuil, Paris.
[43] Fukuyama, F. (2002) Our Posthuman Future - Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York.
[44] Galtung, J. (1969) Violence, Peace, and Peace Research. Journal of Peace Research, 6, 167-191. https://doi.org/10.1177/002234336900600301
[45] Graham, C. (2013) EU and UK Competition Law. Pearson Education, New York, London.
[46] Grove, W.M. & Meehl, P.E. (1996) Comparative Efficiency of Informal (Subjective, Impressionistic) and Formal (Mechanical, Algorithmic) Prediction Procedures: The Clinical–Statistical Controversy. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 2, 293-323. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8971.2.2.293
[47] Gulick, L. (2003) Notes on the Theory of Organisation. In IV, (Eds, Thompson, K., Gulick, L. & Urwick, L.) Routledge, New York and London, pp. 1-49.
[48] Haeberlen, A., Juznetsov, P. & Druschel, P. (2007) PeerReview: Practical Accountability for Distributed Systems. ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, 41. https://doi.org/10.1145/1294261.1294279
[49] Hassan, S. & De Filipi, P. (2017) The Expansion of Algorithmic Governance: From Code is Law to Law is Code. Field Actions Science Reports, 17, 88-90.
[50] Hubbard, F.P. (2016) Allocating the risk of physical injury from “sophisticated robots”: Efficiency, fairness, and innovation. (Eds, Calo, R., Froomkin, A.M. & Kerr, I.) Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham UK, Northampton MA USA, pp. 25-50. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781783476732.00009
[51] Jao, C. (2012) Decision Support Systems. IntechOpen, Olajnica. https://doi.org/10.5772/3371
[52] Jones, B.D. & Baumgartner, F.R. (2005) A Model of Choice for Public Policy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 15, 325-351. https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/mui018
[53] Joseph, P. (2017) The New Human Rights Movement. BenBella Books, Dallas.
[54] Kahneman, D. (2013) Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.
[55] Klir, G.J. & Elias, D. (2003) Architecture of Systems Problem Solving. Springer Science & Business Media, New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9224-6
[56] Lahmiri, S. (2016) Prediction of International Stock Markets Based on Hybrid Intelligent Systems. In Handbook of Research on Innovations in Information Retrieval, Analysis, and Management, IGI Global, pp. 110-124. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-8833-9.ch004
[57] Lee, K.-F. (2018) AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston and New York.
[58] Leibniz, G.W.F.V. (1996) Leibniz: New Essays on Human Understanding. Cambridge University Press, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166874
[59] Lennon, M. (2020) Planning as Justification. Planning Theory & Practice, 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2020.1769918
[60] Luhmann, N. (1981) Teorija sistema, svrhovitost i racionalnost. Globus, Zagreb.
[61] Luhmann, N. (2004) Law as a Social System. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[62] Martini, M. (2020) Regulating Algorithms: How to Demystify the Alchemy of Code? (Eds, Ebers, M. & Navas, S.) Cambridge University Press, pp. 100-135. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108347846.004
[63] McCulloch, W.S. (1945) A heterarchy of values determined by the topology of nervous nets, Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 7, 89-93. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02478457
[64] Meadows, D.H. (2008) Thinking in Systems: A Primer. Chelsea Green Publishing, London.
[65] Meehl, P.E. (2013) Clinical Versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence. Echo Point Books & Media, Northvale, N.J.
[66] Merriam-Webster (2018) Definition of COMPLEX. Available from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complex [Accessed 21 October 2020].
[67] Merriam-Webster (2020) Definition of Planning by Merriam-Webster. Available from: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/planning [Accessed 24 October 2020].
[68] Miranda, F. & Abreu, C. (2016) Handbook of research on computational simulation and modeling in engineering. Engineering Science Reference, https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-8823-0
[69] Nicolis, G. & Prigogine, I. (1977) Self-organization in nonequilibrium systems: from dissipative structures to order through fluctuations. Wiley, New York.
[70] O’Reilly, T. (2013) Open Data and Algorithmic Regulation. In Beyond transparency: open data and the future of civic innovation, (Ed, Goldstein, B.) pp. 289-300.
[71] Pasquale, F. (2015) The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information. Harvard University Press, Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674736061
[72] Pickering, A. (2011) The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future. University of Chicago Press, Chicago; London. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226667928.001.0001
[73] Piketty, T. (2014) Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Harvard University Press, Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674369542
[74] Piketty, T. (2020) Capital and Ideology. Belknap Press, London.
[75] Pinker, S. (1997) How the Mind Works. Penguin Books, London.
[76] Poole, D.L. & Mackworth, A.K. (2010) Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511794797
[77] Prigogine, I. & Stengers, I. (1984) Order Out of Chaos. Bantam Books, New York, N.Y.
[78] Provost, C., Archer, N. & Namubiru, L. (2020) Alarm as 2 billion people have parliaments shut or limited by COVID-19 openDemocracy.
[79] Reynolds, M. & Holwell, S. (2010) Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide: A Practical Guide. Springer Science & Business Media, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-84882-809-4
[80] (2013) The Oxford Handbook of Evidence-Based Management. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[81] Rubio, D. & Lastra, C. (2019) European Tech Insights 2019.
[82] Sedgewick, R. & Wayne, K. (2011) Algorithms. Addison-Wesley Professional, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
[83] Segaran, T. (2007) Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications. O’Reilly Media, Beijing; Sebastapol CA.
[84] Senge, P.M. (2010) The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization. Crown Publishing Group, New York.
[85] Simon, H.A. (1996) The Sciences of the Artificial. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
[86] Smith, A. (1984) The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Liberty Fund, Indianapolis.
[87] Stasser, G. & Titus, W. (1985) Pooling of unshared information in group decision making: Biased information sampling during discussion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 1476-1478. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.48.6.1467
[88] Sunstein, C.R. (2017) #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400884711
[89] TMF (2019) FDA Approvals for Smart Algorithms in Medicine In One Giant Infographic - The Medical Futurist. Available from: https://medicalfuturist.com/fda-approvals-for-algorithms-in-medicine [Accessed 21 September 2020].
[90] Turing, A.M. (1950) Computing Machinery and Intelligence. Mind, 59, 433-460. https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/LIX.236.433
[91] Waldrop, M.M. (1993) Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos. Simon and Schuster, New York.
[92] Watson, H.J., Rainer, R.K. & Koh, C.E. (1991) Executive Information Systems: A Framework for Development and a Survey of Current Practices. MIS Quarterly, 15, 13. https://doi.org/10.2307/249431
[93] Watts, D.J. (2011) Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer. Crown Publishing Group, New York.
[94] Woolley, A.W. et al. (2010) Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups. Science, 330, 686-688. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1193147
[95] Yoshida, Z. (2010) Nonlinear Science: The Challenge of Complex Systems. Springer, Berlin. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-03406-0_3
[96] Zadeh, L.A. (1973) Outline of a new approach to the analysis of complex systems and decision processes. IEEE Transactions on systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 28-44. https://doi.org/10.1109/TSMC.1973.5408575


Copyright (c) 2021 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology