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We, the Robots? Regulating Artificial Intelligence and the Limits of the Law

Book Review: We, the Robots? Regulating Artificial Intelligence and the Limits of the Law

Should we regulate artificial intelligence? Can we? From self-driving cars and high-speed trading to algorithmic decision-making, the way humans live, work, and play are increasingly dependent on AI systems that operate with diminishing human intervention. These fast, autonomous, and opaque machines offer great benefits – and pose significant risks. Simon Chesterman’s “We, the Robots? Regulating Artificial Intelligence and the Limits of the Law” examines how laws are dealing with AI, as well as what additional rules and institutions are needed – including the role that AI might play in regulating itself. Drawing on diverse technologies and examples from around the world, the book offers lessons on how to manage risk, draw red lines, and preserve the legitimacy of public authority. Though the prospect of AI pushing beyond the limits of the law may seem remote, these measures are useful now – and will be essential if it ever does.

An accessible introduction to some of the most important legal questions raised by artificial intelligence, and solutions implemented or explored across a broad range of jurisdictions. The book explains how the speed, autonomy, and opacity of artificial intelligence systems combine to raise questions around responsibility, personality, and transparency, analyzing proposals from technology-specific regulation to a new international agency, with a brief introduction to the (potential) role of such systems in legal interpretation, prediction, and decision-making.

Professor Chesterman’s We, the Robots? Regulating Artificial Intelligence and the Limits of the Law is a hugely important addition to the growing body of literature on the regulation of AI. Drawing on the author’s rich knowledge of international institutions, the book offers many novel observations on the challenges of AI and how they can be addressed. The chapter on Regulation by AI is particularly impressive in its combination of ground-breaking legal theory and technical insight. The writing throughout is erudite, clear, and methodical. This is a book which deserves to be widely read.

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