Soon to be released in Portuguese

"An important work and a riveting read..."

“[E]veryone should read the book. It brings up issues of critical importance as AI gains a more prevalent impact on society.” Forbes

'This book will appeal to anyone interested in the relationship between AI and law, and particularly those wishing to hear a different perspective on the future of AI and regulation.'

AI and people do not compete on a level-playing field. Self-driving vehicles may be safer than human drivers, but laws often penalize such technology. People may provide superior customer service, but businesses are automating to reduce their taxes. AI may innovate more effectively, but an antiquated legal framework constrains inventive AI. In The Reasonable Robot, Ryan Abbott argues that the law should not discriminate between AI and human behavior and proposes a new legal principle that will ultimately improve human well-being.

Editorial Reviews

‘The Reasonable Robot provides highly original insights into one of the most important conversations of our time. Ryan Abbott brings a unique and sometimes controversial perspective to artificial intelligence as a physician, attorney, and eminent academic, but manages to present the subject in an accessible and unintimidating manner. This book is both enlightening about the future of law and artificial intelligence as well as a great read’ 

– Baron Timothy Clement-Jones, Chair of the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Select Committee and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence

‘Ryan Abbott’s book cuts across all kinds of fields in an effort to teach us what the future will bring. From self-driving cars to AI doctors to robots that pay taxes, he offers a comprehensive blueprint for how the law needs to change to adapt to a world where it is machines, not people, committing torts and crimes.’ 

– Mark A. Lemley, William H. Neukom Professor, Stanford University, California

‘Artificial intelligence has evolved from an utopian vision to a fact of life. Thinking through how AI fits into our existing legal norms has become imperative. Ryan Abbott’s book elucidates what challenges AI poses in different areas of the law and what legal principles can unleash AI’s full potential for human progress. Anyone seeking insight into these questions will find this book both accessible to read and thought-provoking.’ 

– Carsten Fink, Chief Economist, World Intellectual Property Organization

‘The Reasonable Robot is an important work and a riveting read that provides a fascinating picture of a future that’s already here. It explores profound legal and societal questions that every one of us should care deeply about, and secures Ryan’s place as a leader in the field.’ 

– Corey Salsberg, Vice President, Global Head IP Affairs, Novartis

‘Professor Abbott’s book offers a captivating analysis of the legal challenges that arise from the breathtaking proliferation of artificial intelligence in numerous areas of life, commercial relations and governmental decision-making. As ‘AI’ not only informs but increasingly drives and determines administrative procedures as well as policy choices, questions of liability require utmost scrutiny and must be seen in close connection with issues around agency, representation and legitimacy. In trying to understand the legal conundrum posed by robots’ astonishing ascendance, this book is an excellent guide.’ 

– Peer Zumbansen, Founding Director, Transnational Law Institute, King’s College London

‘ … The latter proposition demonstrates that Abbott treats this sensitive topic (which will significantly affect everyone because of AI’s potential to cut jobs, limit human interaction and question human supremacy) based on firm ethical values. It also places people’s and society’s benefits at the center of his considerations, rather than the technological or economic interests of a few, while also addressing the pressing questions in a historical context.’

Dr. Richard Brunner, Dennemeyer IP Blog


“I think everyone should read [The Reasonable Robot]. It brings up issues of critical importance as AI gains a more prevalent impact on society. What’s needed is the discussion that Ryan Abbott’s book… will hopefully initiate.” ………Read More…. 

What with the A-levels ‘mutant algorithm’ scandal and police facial recognition’s drubbing in the Court of Appeal, this has not been a great summer for intelligent machines. Ryan Abbott, professor of law and health sciences at the University of Surrey, reckons it is time to consider whether robots – a convenient shorthand for systems based on machine learning and natural language processing – should get ………….Read More….

His discussion of tort law takes several interesting left turns to end up at an unexpected conclusion. The opening premise is simple enough, and is well-illustrated through the example of autonomous vehicles (AVs): AVs overall are safer than human-driven cars. But humans are held to the lower standard of negligence …..Read More…

The book does an excellent job providing insights into the legal challenges that arise from the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI). It is well organized, divided into the four main areas of AI legal impact: tax, tort, intellectual property, and criminal. While each area could be read on its own, it is interesting to note the underlying theme all these areas have in common. Namely, as AI increasingly occupies the roles once held by people, it will need to be treated under the law more like a person. This review largely praises Abbott’s common-sense proposals for legal changes that accommodate AI technology. …..Read More…..

The introduction ‘artificial intelligence and the law’ covers AI legal neutrality, tax, tort, intellectual property, criminal and the future of AI. In the intellectual property section, Abbott says that it is unclear whether AI-generated inventions, made without traditional inventors, are eligible for patent protection. As we know, this is currently being tested in the courts of the UK, USA, and Europe. In fact, Abbott was involved in the project which he discusses in the book, you can also find out….Read More…

‘Abbott approaches the issue from a variety of perspectives, including liability and torts, criminal law, intellectual property and taxation. In each area, he argues that AI is not on a “level playing field” with human beings in the eyes of the law. This begs the question, though, “Should AI be on the same level as human beings?” Should “an AI,” as he calls the hypothetical, human-like machine-based intelligence, be held to a different legal standard than actual humans?’ ….Read More ….

-Hugh Taylor, Journal of Cyber Policy

The Reasonable Robot. Artificial Intelligence and the Law is a pocket-sized book containing not-so- pocket-sized ideas. Ryan Abbott follows a unique fil rouge, namely the concept of AI legal neutrality, meaning that the law should not discriminate between AI and humans when they display the same behaviour.

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