Any country that has detailed the specific rights they grant strong AI and how they define that strong AI and their stance towards it?

  • What is 'strong AI'? Coming close to passing the Turing test, but not quite? Showing signs of extensive neural network learning, but occassionally still requiring a reboot to clear memory? Or based on some of kind of hardware consideration such as raw processor speed in solving certain typically human problems, but occassionally still being stumped the odd NP problem (such as the soccer mom errands problem or also known as TSP)?
    – ouflak
    Mar 14, 2019 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


To the best of my knowledge, as someone who follows this issues with some interest and keeps abreast of legislative developments, but isn't a true specialist in the area, I am not aware of any legislation granting strong AI rights that belong to it. Generally speaking, "strong AI" is property of a person, or property that is in the public domain, not a person in its own right.

This said, an AI is usually recognized as an agent of the AI's owner, for example, in business transactions, such that the AI's actions are binding upon the principal who is the owner.

For example, if an AI does computerized stock trading in the name of a business or individual, the stock trades are treated for legal purposes as if they were acts of a human agent of the individual or business. In the same vein, an Internet commerce transaction conducted entirely by an AI at a website like Amazon, is binding upon Amazon the company, even if there is no human in the loop of that particular transaction, and even if the buyer in that transaction is also an AI.

(Classical Roman law actually had an analogous legal device - slaves, who were considered property rather than persons in Roman law, could be agents for their owners in binding legal transactions, even though they didn't have any legal rights of their own.)

But, given the tag of "civil rights" that you have attached to this post, I don't think that you mean this kind of "right" to act as an agent of a legally recognized person. It sounds like you are instead imagining some sort of right to, for example, not be terminated or erased without due process of law that belongs to the AI rather than to the owner of the AI. And, there is no legal jurisdiction of which I am aware that affords this kind of rights to AIs (or for that matter to sentient life forms other than human beings in almost all cases).

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    Re "sentient life forms" - People have tried to sue on behalf of animals in the US on many occasions. Those lawsuits generally don't go very well, but in Cetacean Community v. Bush the Ninth Circuit held that, under the Constitution, Congress could vest animals with legal standing if it so chose. This is surprising because the Constitution certainly does not give "declaring animals to be people" as one of Congress's enumerated powers.
    – Kevin
    Mar 15, 2019 at 3:58
  • @Kevin Congress can generally speaking define terms for purposes of other laws under the necessary and proper clause.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 15, 2019 at 13:56
  • @ohwilke: In this case, that "other law" was Article III of the Constitution, which is obviously not subject to such chicanery.
    – Kevin
    Mar 15, 2019 at 15:40
  • @Kevin Why would it be "chicanery" for Congress to establish a definition of language in Article III of the U.S. Constitution? This was actually one of the main activities of the very first session of Congress and has occurred regularly since then. Indeed, Article III expressly delegates to Congress powers to "ordain and establish" inferior courts, establish compensation, establish regulations concerning court jurisdiction, establish where trials are held, and define the punishment for treason. Art I, Sec 8 authorizes Congress to define who a citizen is subject to the 14th Amendment minimum.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 15, 2019 at 17:29
  • The power to define is the power to subvert. See for example Marbury v. Madison.
    – Kevin
    Mar 15, 2019 at 17:35

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