ELI Digital Law SIG Held a Ninth Seminar in its Speaker Series


On 9 November 2022, the SIG held a ninth webinar entitled ‘The Legal Status of Artificial Intelligence’ in its Speakers’ Series.

The seminar was delivered by Diana Mocanu (PhD researcher, Catholic University of Leuven).

In the European Commission’s proposal for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, as well as in the new AI liability framework, AI systems are treated as products, or things, albeit riskier than the average gadget, so as to warrant either an additional layer of fundamental rights protections, such as in the AI Act, or an attempt to make it easier for consumers to claim compensation in case of damages, such as in the draft directive for defective products and the draft AI liability directive. These developments are prone to various critiques however, not least regarding the legal status of such uncanny entities that straddle the border between thing and person, as AI systems seem to be. The question that arises when confronted with such doubts, is if their legal status would not be better conceptualised by a different legal category altogether.

The webinar went on to explore the possibility of granting (some form of) legal personhood to AI systems, as well as a third option, of creating a sui generis legal status specifically tailored to AI systems, with the aim of better reflecting their role in society and thus ensuring the coherence of the legal theoretical assumptions underlying and holding together European legal systems.

More details are available here.