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Title: Towards legal recognition of intelligent software agents : should we think outside the box?
Author: Al-Dahiyat, Emad Abdel Rahim
ISNI:       0000 0001 3405 3010
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2006
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It is argued that it is no longer convincing to classify the advanced generations of software agents as passive transmission tools, and that the traditional paradigm of face-to-face communication may not readily fit the intelligent agent technology that is evolving with an ultimate aim of eliminating any effective human involvement in the electronic contracting process. It is also argued that the idea of custody might seem inappropriate where the harm is a function of many factors, or when an electronic agent has a malfunction or operates in a manner unintended, unauthorized or unforeseen. It is argued that the introduction of “one-size” regulation without sufficient consideration of the nature of electronic agents or the environments in which they communicate might lead to a divorce between the legal theory and technological practice. In the third part, it is concluded that it is incorrect to deal with electronic agents as if they were either legal persons or nothing without in any way accounting for the fact that there are various kinds of electronic agents endowed with different levels of autonomy, mobility, intelligence, and sophistication. Throughout this thesis, we insist on the importance of establishing a reciprocal cooperation between law and technology so that law interferes in the earlier stages, rather than waiting the technological outcomes and then struggling to accommodate novel issues in an outdated legal framework. Law is also strongly advised to take into account the role every party plays in producing the action in question, consider the type of problem that caused the damage, and then use different standards of responsibility depending whether the action is done autonomously by an unattended software, or whether it is done automatically by an attended software. On the other hand, this thesis advocates that it has become necessary to re-evaluate the legal status and role of intelligent software agents in electronic commerce.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available