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Title: Software intelligence (SI), dependent legal personhood & SI-human amalgamation : an evolutionary step for US patent law and SI
Author: Bac, Joanna Ewa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 7781
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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This doctoral thesis addresses the question of why and how the United States of America (US) legal system should grant legal personhood to software intelligence (SI). This new legal status of SI is visualised as a dependent type of person. The SI dependent legal person would be determined by an inextricable connection between SI and a new type of corporate body, introduced here as SI-Human Amalgamation (SIHA). SI has been defined as one or more computer programmes with an ability to create work that is unforeseen by humans. This includes SI capacity to generate unforeseen innovations, patentable inventions and/or infringe the rights of other patent holders. At present, SI is an entity unrecognised by law. The fact that SI is neither a natural nor a legal person indicates that it cannot be considered the rights' owner or liability bearer. This in turn creates tensions both in society and legal systems because questions, such as, who should hold those rights or be liable for autonomous acts of SI, remain unanswered. It is argued that the SI dependent legal person and SIHA, are necessary to address the new challenges introduced by SI. SI and SIHA, their creativity and actions would be distinct from those performed by human beings involved in the creation of this amalgamation, such as SI's operators or programmers. As such, this structure would constitute an amalgamation based on human beings and SI cooperation (SIHA). SI, as a dependent legal person, would hold the patents rights to its own inventions thus ensuring favourable conditions for the incentives of the US patent system. In addition, the proposed legal framework with the use of legislative instruments could address any liability concerns arising from the foreseen and unforeseen actions, omissions and failure to act of SI.
Supervisor: Brown, Abbe E. L. ; Kee, Christopher Sponsor: Elphinstone Scholarship ; CB Davidson Bequest Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Computer software ; Copyright ; Computer programs ; Patent laws and legislation ; Persons (Law) ; Personality (Law)