Showing posts with label Quality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quality. Show all posts

Artificial Intelligence - AI Product Liability.


Product liability is a legal framework that holds the seller, manufacturer, distributor, and others in the distribution chain liable for damage caused by their goods to customers.

Victims are entitled to financial compensation from the accountable corporation.

The basic purpose of product liability legislation is to promote societal safety by discouraging wrongdoers from developing and distributing unsafe items to the general public.

Users and third-party spectators may also sue if certain conditions are satisfied, such as foreseeability of the harm.

Because product liability is governed by state law rather than federal law in the United States, the applicable legislation in each case may change depending on the location of the harm.

In the past, victims had to establish that the firm responsible was negligent, which meant that its acts did not reach the acceptable level of care, in order to prevail in court and be reimbursed for their injuries.

Four components must be shown in order to establish negligence.

  • First and foremost, the corporation must owe the customer a legal duty of care.
  • Second, that responsibility was violated, implying that the producer failed to fulfill the requisite level.
  • Third, the breach of duty resulted in the injury, implying that the manufacturer's activities resulted in the damage.
  • Finally, the victims must have had genuine injuries.

One approach to get compensated for product injury is to show that the corporation was negligent.

Product liability lawsuits may also be established by demonstrating that the corporation failed to uphold its guarantees to customers about the product's quality and dependability.

Express warranties may specify how long the product is covered by the warranty, as well as which components of the product are covered and which are not.

Implied guarantees that apply to all items include promises that the product will function as advertised and for the purpose for which the customer acquired it.

In the great majority of product liability cases, the courts will apply strict liability, which means that the corporation will be held accountable regardless of guilt if the standards are satisfied.

This is because the courts have determined that customers would have a tough time proving the firm is irresponsible since the company has greater expertise and resources.

Instead of proving that a duty was breached, consumers must show that the product contained an unreasonably dangerous defect; the defect caused the injury while the product was being used for its intended purpose; and the product was not substantially altered from the condition in which it was sold to consumers.

Design flaws, manufacturing flaws, and marketing flaws, sometimes known as failure to warn, are the three categories of defects that may be claimed for product responsibility.

When there are defects in the design of the product itself at the planning stage, this is referred to as a design defect.

If there was a foreseeable danger that the product might cause harm when used by customers when it was being created, the corporation would be liable.

When there are issues throughout the production process, such as the use of low-quality materials or shoddy craftsmanship, it is referred to as a manufacturing fault.

The final product falls short of the design's otherwise acceptable quality.

Failure to notify flaws occurs when a product involves an inherent hazard, regardless of how well it was designed or made, yet the corporation failed to provide customers with warnings that the product may be harmful.

While product liability law was created to cope with the advent of more complicated technologies that may cause consumer damage, it's unclear if the present legislation can apply to AI or whether it has to be updated to completely safeguard consumers.

When it comes to AI, there are various areas where the law will need to be clarified or changed.

Product liability requires the presence of a product, and it is not always apparent whether software or an algorithm is a product or a service.

Product liability law would apply if they were classed as such.

When it comes to services, consumers must depend on typical negligence claims.

Consumers' capacity to sue a manufacturer under product liability will be determined by the specific AI technology that caused the injury and what the court concludes in each case.

When AI technology is able to learn and behave independently of its initial programming, new problems arise.

Because the AI's behaviors may not have been predictable in certain situations, it's unclear if a damage can still be linked to the product's design or production.

Furthermore, since AI depends on probability-based predictions and will, at some time, make a decision that causes harm even if it is the optimal course of action, it may not be fair for the maker to bear the risk when the AI is likely to produce harm by design.

In response to these difficult concerns, some commentators have recommended that AI be held to a different legal standard than conventional goods, such as strict responsibility.

They propose, for example, that medical AI technology be regarded as if it were a reasonable human doctor or medical student, and that autonomous automobiles be treated as if they were a reasonable human driver.

Artificial intelligence products would still be liable for customer harm, but the threshold they would have to reach would be that of a reasonable person in the identical circumstance.

Only if a human in the identical scenario would have been unable to avoid inflicting the damage would the AI be held accountable for the injuries.

This raises the issue of whether the designers or manufacturers would be held vicariously accountable since they had the right, capacity, and obligation to govern the AI, or if the AI would be considered a legal person responsible for paying the victims on its own.

As AI technology advances, it will become more difficult to distinguish between traditional and more sophisticated products.

However, because there are currently no alternatives in the law, product liability will continue to be the legal framework for determining who is responsible and under what circumstances consumers must be financially compensated when AI causes injuries.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

Find Jai on Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Accidents and Risk Assessment; Autonomous and Semiautonomous Systems; Calo, Ryan; Driverless Vehicles and Liability; Trolley Problem.

References & Further Reading:

Kaye, Timothy S. 2015. ABA Fundamentals: Products Liability Law. Chicago: American Bar Association.

Owen, David. 2014. Products Liability in a Nutshell. St. Paul, MN: West Academic Publishing.

Turner, Jacob. 2018. Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Weaver, John Frank. 2013. Robots Are People Too: How Siri, Google Car, and Artificial Intelligence Will Force Us to Change Our Laws. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

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