‘Autonomous Organizations’ by Shawn Bayern

‘Autonomous Organizations’ by Shawn Bayern

Shawn J. Bayern of Florida State Law has published ‘Autonomous Organizations’ addressing the growing area of autonomous, robotic run organizations and the law.

From the publisher:

Under current business law, it is already possible to give legal personhood, or a very close surrogate of it, to software systems of any kind (from a simple automated escrow agent to a more hypothetical, truly smart artificial intelligence). This means that, for example, robots could enter into contracts, serve as legal agents, or own property. Ultimately, entire companies could actually be run by non-human agents. This study argues that this is not as scary as it might sound at first. Legal theorist and noted software developer Shawn Bayern argues that autonomous or zero-person organizations offer an opportunity for useful new types of interactions between software and the law. This creative contribution to the theory and practice of law and technology explores the social and political aspects of these new organizational structures and their implications for legal theory.

  • Demonstrates how functional legal personhood can be given to software systems, such as artificial intelligence, under laws that already exist
  • Shows ways in which complex algorithms can interact with the legal system
  • Explores the implications for law of the flexibility of modern legal organizations, including the development of 'autonomous' organizations

An ALI member since 2017, Bayern is an Adviser for the Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Concluding Provisions.

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