Current laws are lagging way behind the rapid rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
“AI technology is racing ahead and the law needs to catch up quickly so if people are injured by AI failure, such as driverless cars or medical devices, they can receive the help they need to get their lives back on track,” said Brett Dixon, secretary of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
“Urgent change is needed. There are cars already on UK roads where software can control the steering and speed. The focus on making the UK the leader for businesses developing and using AI should not be at the expense of ordinary people who fall victim to any failures,” he said.
“As it stands, people injured by failures in AI will have to take on well-resourced manufacturers through product liability claims, which are notoriously complex, costly, and lengthy. There is also an inequality of arms as manufacturers have all the in-depth knowledge of their own products, which an injured party could never replicate,” Mr Dixon explained.
APIL, the national not-for-profit group which campaigns on behalf of injured victims of negligence, has raised its concerns with the Government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and made some important recommendations.
“Injured people are vulnerable and have needs unique from any other type of civil claimant. Let’s not forget that some injuries are life-changing. Victims of negligence should have a simple route to restitution,” said Mr Dixon.
“If a car crash, for example, is caused by a fault with AI technology, the motor insurer of that vehicle should be automatically responsible for paying compensation. This will protect injured people from having to get into protracted legal fights with manufacturers and, of course, enable them to receive the compensation they need in a timely way.
“Once the claim is settled, it should then up to the insurer to pursue the manufacturer to recover the money,” he said.