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  3. Artificial Intelligence and the Law

Artificial Intelligence and the Law (LAWS90145)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeLAWS90145
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Historically a computer was “programmed” by a human utilising a precise set of instructions. Within this paradigm the computer was able to “process” information “fed” to it and produce a particular output based on such programming and information.

The human input was clear and transparent. As artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved in concert with the internet, cloud computing, big data gathering, data storage and data processing capabilities and the ubiquitous uptake of interactive smartphones and other “smart” devices, the relationship between the computer and direct and immediate human stewardship or control of outputs has become less readily identifiable. In turn this has given rise to significant legal issues.

There are substantial legal implications of AI which require ongoing, flexible and informed responses from lawyers and legal policy makers. This subject seeks to inform practicing lawyers, legal policy makers and non-lawyers in respect of those issues and how they might be dealt with.

Principal topics include:

  • Introduction to AI. What is AI? Where is AI headed?
  • The legal issues raised by AI.
  • Overview of current AI legal reviews underway in the USA, EU and UK and Australia’s response to these reviews
  • Intellectual property issues raised by AI
  • Criminal liability in respect of AI
  • Civil legal liability – examination of who is (or should be) responsible/liable for AI caused loss and harm.
  • Mandatory insurance schemes for loss or damage caused by autonomous robots or AI
  • The legal regimes governing use of AI in security, law enforcement and military contexts
  • Privacy and confidentiality implications of AI

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the key principles in the law relating to AI in Australia and comparable jurisdictions
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of the current and proposed laws dealing with AI
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to AI
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field of AI
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving law reform related to AI
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas, and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts as they relate to AI
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding AI legal issues to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of AI law.

Last updated: 3 April 2019