Legal Status Of Artificial Intelligence – I

Personality Problem of Artificial Intelligence


With the development of artificial intelligence and robotic science, the interaction between people and machines has taken a different and more complex dimension. This interaction has brought with it many legal problems and an unregulated legal field. First of all, it raised the question of what the legal status of artificial intelligence might be. Because, the legal status of artificial intelligence and how to determine responsibility for damages caused by artificial intelligence are related issues.

The Personality Concept of in Turkish Civil Law

The first book of the Turkish Civil Code No. 4721 (TCC) is related to the persons law. According to Turkish law, there are two types of personality, known and accepted in the field of personal law. These are called real personality and legal personality. This distinction is that is valid not only in Turkish law but also in all contemporary legal systems.

Real people are people. This is accepted by all contemporary legal systems. Real persons are equal without being subject to differences in gender, age, ethnicity, and economic status in terms of being entitled to rights and debts. everyone is the subject of rights and debts only because they are human. In this sense, each person has the right to a license and this license is obtained right from the moment the right to full marriage is obtained.

Legal persons are community of persons or goods that has a hypothetical personality, which are outside of people and are directed to a specific purpose. Legal persons are not human, but because of the necessities of social life, they are given a personality by the rule of law. It can be stated that accepting legal persons as rights subjects is based on two cases. First, human life is limited; therefore, human life is not sufficient for the realization of certain purposes. Secondly, people need more than their own power to achieve some goals. In this respect, legal entities serve these two purposes and have all the features of real people, except for the characteristics that are unique to creation.

Personality of Artificial Intelligence

The first opinion on the legal status of artificial intelligence is ‘the opinion of the goods’. This view states that artificial intelligence should be accepted as the object of a person just like any other device and naturally artificial intelligence should be in the property of real and legal persons.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]However, this view is a clear view of criticism. First of all, artificial intelligence is not just a simple tool. Artificial intelligence has some cognitive characteristics and the emergence of completely autonomous and highly smart artificial intelligence examples is now only a matter of time. Furthermore, the types of artificial intelligence we face today have the potential to learn much faster than a person, to adapt to the environment in an unpredictable way, and thus to harm the creators of their own.

Another view on the legal status of artificial intelligence in the doctrine is the view of the slaves. This view does not think of artificial intelligence as a simple item considering the above-mentioned feature of artificial intelligence, but it cannot imagine giving artificial intelligence a status other than the status of the product. This view is actually a theory that is based on the idea that artificial intelligence is seen as an article, and that comes from among the proponents of the theory of goods. The proponents of this view argue that artificial intelligence should be enslaved by people. Therefore, it is foreseen that legal systems should regulate the legal status of artificial intelligence as slavery. But slavery is a concept abandoned by modern legal systems and is no longer desired to return.

The flawed point of both theories is that artificial intelligence should not be seen as a simple article or certainly a slave. On the contrary, artificial intelligence should be considered as a person. However, this personality is not a real person as people have, but it can be a legal entity as in an association. The fact that artificial intelligence is more real than anything other than human is not possible due to epistemological and ontological reasons. It is highly conceivable that artificial intelligence has a legal personality. The view of legal personality is a compatible view with the potential and the cognitive characteristics of artificial intelligence.

However, the idea of legal personality and giving a personality to artificial intelligence was highly criticized. These are understandable criticisms. Because, at first, people were extremely reluctant and shy about giving legal personality to an association or a company. And today, it is considered relatively new (but unquestionably) to give a personality to these subjects except for people. However, all these debates about the legal status of artificial intelligence have changed completely and forever with a revolutionary report by the European Parliament.

Latest Development in EU

On January 27, 2017, the European Parliament published the European Parliament Legal Affairs Commission’s Report on Robotic Recommendation (Report), which included a series of recommendations to establish a legal basis for the solution of the future problems of artificial intelligence. The most remarkable and revolutionary feature of this Report is its proposal to give electronic personality to artificial intelligence. The report recommends the creation of a special legal status for robots in the long term.

According to the report with giving electronic personality to robots, it may be responsible for the damages they cause. In other cases such as robots have a personality, take autonomous decisions and communicate independently with third parties it may be considered directly. The report also states that the emergence of the most intelligent type of artificial intelligence can only be possible if the electronic personality proposal is accepted.

The European Parliament has unequivocally demonstrated its position in the debate on artificial intelligence, not that artificial intelligence should have only one personality; in addition it also stated that besides legal and real personality concepts, it should be called electronic personality which is a new and third type. The concept of electronic personality, as a new type of personality known only to artificial intelligence, not only in terms of robotics, but also in terms of law of persons, is a precursor of a new era.