Novelli, Bongiovanni and Sartor, ‘A conceptual framework for legal personality and its application to AI’

In this paper we provide an analysis of the concept of legal personality and discuss whether personality may be conferred on artificial intelligence systems (AIs). Legal personality will be presented as a doctrinal category that holds together bundles of rights and obligations; as a result, we first frame it as a node of inferential links between factual preconditions and legal effects. However, this inferentialist reading does not account for the ‘background reasons’ of legal personality, ie, it does not explain why we cluster different situations under this doctrinal category and how extra-legal information is integrated into it. We argue that one way to account for this background is to adopt a neoinstitutional perspective and to update the ontology of legal concepts with a further layer, the meta-institutional one. We finally argue that meta-institutional concepts can also support us in finding an equilibrium around the legal-policy choices that are involved in including (or not including) AIs among legal persons.

Claudio Novelli, Giorgio Bongiovanni and Giovanni Sartor, A conceptual framework for legal personality and its application to AI, Jurisprudence – An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought, Published online: 9 December 2021.

First posted 2021-12-11 12:20:16

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