Manufacturers will soon be liable for damage caused by artificial intelligence. That is what the European Commission is proposing today. This means that in the future, for example, damage caused by self-driving cars can be recovered from the manufacturer.
At the moment it is not always clear who is exactly liable if there is damage caused by, for example, a robot or algorithms. With this proposal, the Commission wants to give manufacturers and consumers more clarity.
Not just physical damage
The Commission also believes that damage should go beyond physical or material damage. For example, if you are discriminated against by an algorithm, the manufacturer is also liable. Take, for example, employment agencies that use algorithms to find suitable candidates and can systematically exclude people through the algorithm.
The problem is that it is often difficult for the consumer to prove whether the error is caused by artificial intelligence. For this reason, the Commission wants the burden of proof for people and companies to be lighter. If a victim can demonstrate that the damage is caused by the device or software, the manufacturer will be liable.
It may take a while before these rules really take effect. The European Parliament and the EU countries have yet to consider them.