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Robots Are People Too

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Robots Are People Too

How Siri, Google Car, and Artificial Intelligence Will Force Us to Change Our Laws


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Can you sue a robot? What happens if a Google Car runs over your dog? What are the legal and cultural ramifications of artificial intelligence?

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Innovative
  • Engaging


Attorney John Frank Weaver, an expert on artificial intelligence and the law, addresses the emerging legal positives, negatives and complications related to robots and artificial intelligence (AI), both weak and strong. He goes over several distinct arenas of human interaction, one at a time, in a way that allows him to build a cumulative argument. Weaver discusses technological developments in both historical and legal contexts as he analyzes how AI will affect your work and your life. Tech geeks who revel in the potential future of this technology will welcome his humorous riffs on great robots and droids from popular culture. getAbstract recommends Weaver’s informed and sobering consideration of AI to anyone who follows technological trends, economics and future visions of society. It will also intrigue entrepreneurs, investors, and those working in defense and automotive fields, manufacturing, shipping, medicine or home care.


“Strong AI” and “Weak AI”

Mention artificial intelligence (AI), and people imagine machines that think as well as humans or better. The term conjures up science-fiction images, like the computer named HAL from the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey or “the droids from Star Wars.” Those machines fall into the category of strong AI, which doesn’t yet exist outside fiction.

However, weak AI already matches, re-creates, augments or surpasses specific aspects of human intelligence in limited situations. You encounter weak AI any time you use Google or a geo-positioning system (GPS). Weak AI’s increasing availability in products will force changes in the US legal system.

When you enter a search request on Google, you know you’re not interacting with another person. By contrast, you communicate with Siri, iPhone’s built-in electronic assistant, by speaking and asking questions. Siri is a useful “prologue to the coming AI revolution.” It gives you spoken answers and acts on any request within its technological reach. Because this process resembles human interaction, you’re more likely to treat Siri – and future AI manifestations – like people and ...

About the Author

A specialist in artificial intelligence and the law, John Frank Weaver is an attorney with McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton in Portsmouth, NH.

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