Punishing Robots: Issues in the Economics of Tort Liability and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence
Liability laws designed to compensate for harms that are caused by defective or dangerous products or that are the result of professional negligence may also affect innovation incentives. Advances in artificial intelligence and in robotics have generated lively debates over whether existing liability systems constrain technological progress and whether they present an opportunity to redesign liability rules. This chapter reviews empirical studies on the links between liability and innovation using a large sample of data. It aims to provide some insights into the potential impacts that liability laws and likely changes in the system may have on the rate and direction of innovation in robots and artificial intelligence, and to identify areas and questions for future research.