IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - March 2018 - 71

"The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.
Now get out of here."
Qui-Gon Jinn, from Star Wars: Episode I -
The Phantom Menace (1999)

S

ingularity, or as some may call it - the
specific point in time when advanced
technological development, for instance
artificial intelligence (AI), leads to the
creation of machines that are smarter
than human beings - will arrive roughly around the year 2045 according to
author, computer scientist, inventor and futurist Ray
Kurzweil. [1] The timeline presented by Kurzweil, can be
argued, but not the fact that we are dealing with rapid
advances in the fields of robotics and AI.
This article, as part of our early research, is a first
step towards establishing an internationally viable, neutral, consistent legal nomenclature for a specific type of
technology and its use. Due to the complexity of interaction between different legal systems and cultures, our
early research will focus on soft law. Soft law includes
non-enforceable guidelines, policy declarations, or
codes of conduct that set standards, often established
by treaty. Many of these are Free Trade Agreements,
where a lack of technical or legal definitions is a barrier

to international trade and other global interaction. The
purpose behind this article is not answer all the questions in this matter, but is an attempt to initiate a debate
about the implications, long-term, of the current and
future merging of robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
into an integrated, autonomous entity.1 It is also to address
the legal aspects of daily, continuous interaction between
humans and this new entity.
We propose the basic questions underpinning this article to be part of a platform for further discussions on the
future legal aspects of human- Robotics/AI Legal Entity
(RAiLE©) interaction in key areas of our lives. Initially we
look into aspects affecting the workplace and family.
Today we see increased coverage in the global press
about the fascinating developments in the areas of robotics and AI, not least in the areas of autonomous vehicles
and military applications. An important component of
the concern presented is the very important, and to
some quite frightening, situation when robotics and AI
are combined into one entity. Most of these articles however, examine specific academic, ethical, technical, economic, political, social, or legal impacts, focusing only on
one or two areas of perceived technological disruption [2]
brought into human society through advanced development of robotics, with or without AI. We strongly argue
that it is, in particular, the more or less autonomous,
combined robotics/AI entity, that will cause legal issues
in the future.
But what about legal disruption when legislation is not
yet enacted to address the societal impact of new technology? Facing this issue, we combine our global business and legal experience with an experience-based
understanding of information technology (IT) development, and see a growing need to look at current legislation governing the future interaction between humans
and both current and future autonomous robotics/AI entities. We see today a lack of consistent legal definitions
and related legislation to adequately handle these future
entities, entities that are not created to fulfil only one specific role but are capable of multiple different, more integrated, roles in our lives and society on a daily basis.
Our question is: "How can we create the necessary
definitions and parameters for a future, global, legislative framework on human-RAiLE interaction?"

Helpful Definitions
We be g i n by def i n i ng some i mp or t a nt and relevant terminology.
Human-Robot Interaction (HRI): This is the relationship between human and robot (machine). The term
1
This is not necessarily limited to a 1-on-1 relationship between AI and
robotics, but could apply to 1-M, M-1, or limited M-M. Some form of limitation on the extent of the new legal entity will have to be defined, or any legislation may become applicable to the whole network of units connected.

MARCH 2018

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IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

71



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