The Law and Economics of AI

This is a hybrid meeting. Please find the Teams link in the abstract.

With the launch of ChatGPT 3.5 by Open AI in November 2022 people gained unprecedented direct experience of AI using an exceptionally advanced Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) Model. Public interest in AI as a result surged, with a 900 % increase in searches on AI. Governments have in turn moved to start addressing AI’s perceived risks, both using existing law, and regulation, as well as by creating new AI specific laws and regulations. In February 2024 the UK Government for example announced its proposed strategy to regulating AI that will work through existing law and regulators based on five principles, while in March 2024 the EU passed the EU AI Act that adopts a more centralised, and prescriptive model. Thus only in the past two months, we have already seen both new law and regulation of AI, and greater variation in the nature of such law and regulation between countries. This talk will briefly review the law and economics of AI, and discuss emerging issues in relation to the application of law and regulation to AI, including recent developments and divergences in the EU, UK and US approaches, with particular attention given to the fast developing application of existing competition law in the EU, UK and US through AI inquiries and investigations. Research being undertaken on developments in other areas of law and regulation relating to AI, including copyright, contract, tort and criminal law, will also be briefly discussed.

Teams link:

Dr George Barker member of Wolfson College Oxford University, Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University. Doctorate in Economics from Oxford University, and a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Economics (Hons). Director of the Centre for Law and Economics at Australian National University (ANU) from 1997-2017. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics at Cornell University in 2000, and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE) (2015-2018); the Centre for Law and Economics at University College London (2010-2015); and Oxford University 2008. Founding Member of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Law and Economics. Authored books, and articles and given expert testimony on the economics of law including: competition law, trade law (the Effects of China joining the WTO Cambridge University Press 2003), corporations and labour law (the economics of trade unions), intellectual property law (especially copyright), taxation law and environmental law; and the economics of industry regulation, including the digital economy, communications, internet, energy, transport, mining, agriculture, insurance, finance, pharmaceutical, software, and media industries; and on the economic role of government, the economics of public policy, public finance, public sector management, social services (education, health, and welfare) and income distribution. Provides expert economic testimony before courts, ministers, Parliaments and regulatory agencies in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, and in arbitration disputes in the Hague. His work has been cited in the UK House of Lords, by the High Court of England and Wales and by the European Commission. Elected Honorary Fellow of the Law and Economics Association of NZ. Past President of the Australian Law and Economics Association, a Founder and Past President of the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand. Chief Analyst and Economic Advisor at the NZ Treasury 1984-1997. Member of the Governing Board of Wolfson College, Oxford University from 1990 – 1992, Board member of LECG Asia-Pacific Ltd (1997-2005), Celtic Pacific Ltd, and Upstart Investments Ltd (1999-2003), KEA Global and past Chairman of KEA Australia (2001-2010).