Ethics in AI Colloquium | AI in the Law or AI in the Place of Law?

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The exponential growth in the power and reach of artificial intelligence poses a special challenge for the rule of law: AI and machine learning have colonized the law itself. AI, suitably regulated, has a role to play in ordinary operations of the law, but it must not take the place of law. AI’s distinctive modus operandi, its characteristic mode of reasoning and its design for social control, contrasts sharply with law’s distinctive mode of reasoning. Governance by algorithm leaves no room for legal reasoning, and hence no room for judgment, reflection, interpersonal engagement, or personal decision-maker responsibility. But we might ask what of value would be lost to us as individuals and to our political communities if AI were to replace law in a large swath of our political and personal lives? This lecture explores and assesses several potential consequences of the replacement of law with AI technologies.