Sharing the Costs of Artificial Intelligence: Universal No-Fault Social Insurance for Personal Injuries

Jin Yoshikawa · 21 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. 1155

Abstract

The twenty-first century is the artificial intelligence (AI) century. In the past few years, AI has become a familiar fixture of everyday life thanks to services like YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, and Alexa. Stock traders, doctors, insurance brokers, real estate agents, recruiters, artists, and even lawyers now rely on predictive tools powered by AI to perform their highly skilled—even creative—tasks. In the following decades, AI will continue to transform more fields and deliver astonishing advancements in convenience, comfort, safety, and security. At the same time, however, AI will bring about new challenges. AI will offend, disrupt, crash, breach, incite, injure, and even kill in unexpected ways. Unlike traditional injuries, tort law will have difficulty finding the injuries caused by highly sophisticated AI to be the fault of someone’s negligence or some product’s defect. Regulating AI ex ante will be increasingly difficult due to AI’s growing complexity. As such, under current law, blameless victims of AI injuries are likely to bear all the burden of AI’s negative externalities. Thus, to ensure the fair and sustainable development of AI, this Note proposes adopting a universal social insurance scheme modeled after New Zealand’s accident compensation scheme that complements appropriate safety regulations. Specifically, this Note proposes a social insurance scheme that covers all personal injuries by accident, abolishes tort claims, and finances itself from general tax revenues. These features will ensure AI injuries are a collective responsibility, so AI can continue to grow and promote social progress with the public’s full confidence.