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Administrative and municipal law

Legal Analysis of the Legal Personality of Artificial Intelligence, through the Prism of "Animals", "Human" and other Persons for the Stability of the Structure

Atabekov Atabek Rustamovich

PhD in Economics

Associate Professor of the Department of Administrative and Financial Law, Legal Institute, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

117198, Russia, Moscow, Miklukho-Maklaya str., 6

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Abstract: The author explores the phenomenon of the legal personality of AI through the prisms of the constructions of the rights of animals, humans and certain types of persons. Theoretical and practical approaches to highlighting the legal personality of AI through the prism of a legal entity, animal, human are considered. Practical approaches are being studied on the conditions for the allocation of legal personality through the construction of Habeas Corpus, membership of the "board of directors", as well as the authorship of AI. The main legal structures for the implementation of this legal personality, the positions of the relevant authorities, as well as the stability of individual decisions at the level of consideration by the judiciary and compensatory legal measures that ensure the safe integration of AI into the sphere of public legal relations in Russia are determined. The subject of the study is the formalization of the actions of artificial intelligence as a separate subject of law in the private legal and public fields. The object of the study is regulatory documents, recommendations and other documents regulating the issues of distinguishing the legal personality of AI in Russia and foreign countries, academic publications on the issues under study. The research methodology integrates a complex of modern philosophical, general scientific, special scientific methods of cognition, including dialectical, systemic, structural-functional, hermeneutical, comparative legal, formal legal (dogmatic), etc. The measures proposed as a result of the study can be applied in the legislative and law enforcement practice of relevant authorities implementing the integration of artificial intelligence into the sphere of public and public relations in Russia.


artificial intelligence, electronic person, comparative legal study of artificial intelligence, information law, Habeas Corpus, public law, legal personality of AI, AI authorship, legal entity, government regulation of AI

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The modern understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) technology at the level of world leaders-countries (USA [1], China [2], Russia [3]), as well as the systematic work of international organizations (OSER [4]), forms a legal trend for the further development and integration of artificial intelligence into the sphere of public and civil relations.

Considering the phenomenon of AI in the context of the legal phenomenon of technological thought, it is impossible not to note the controversial nature of possible constructions of legal personality of AI.

So Gabov A.V. and Khavanova I. A. [5], talk about the prematurity of the allocation of legal personality for this technology. In contrast to this position, G.A. Hajiyev defines the possible legal personality of AI through the prism of a legal entity[6]. This contradictory position is also reflected by foreign scientists (for example, French scientists [7-8]).

In this regard, it is necessary to systematically consider the arguments at the doctrinal and practical level in the context of highlighting the legal personality of AI.

The first significant concept is the construction of AI = animal. This phenomenon is necessary to study in order to identify the effectiveness of this design.

The basic principle of Habeas Corpus [9] is used in the framework of lawsuits in the United States, where human rights organizations challenge the conditions of keeping animals. The essence of this process boils down to the fact that the animal is recognized by a person who is interested in personal autonomy and is free from illegal content.

In the case of The Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. (NHRP) v. Patrick C. Lavery [10], the court determined that the application of this principle is possible only to persons who are able to bear legal responsibility and this with the basic provisions of US law is not applicable to an animal.

Latin American countries express an ambiguous position regarding the principle of habeascorpus. In Argentina, the application of the Habeas Corpus principle in relation to the Sandra orangutan was considered as part of lengthy litigation [11]. As part of the cassation review of the case, it was noteworthy that the animal did not have a legal capacity that would allow him to use this principle, however, in the reasoning part of the decision, referred to the works of Eugenio Raul Zaffaroni [12-13] (former member of the Supreme Court of Argentina), who highlighted the conflict of the lack of legal capacity of the animal in view of the inability to demand them from him. As a result, in the last instance, the judge found no grounds for rejecting the orangutan as a non-human person and a subject of rights [14]. As references, the civil legislation of France was used, where the animal world was classified as living beings endowed with reason, and Zaffaroni's position regarding the allocation of the legal construction "non-human person". In Colombia, in the framework of the first instance [15], a similar position was highlighted regarding the construction of corporations and other legal entities, and its applicability to the Chucho bear. In addition, the judge suggested rejecting the approach, which is based on the reciprocity of the response to the obligations imposed on the subject, as well as highlighting the need to apply such concepts as personality, legal personality, etc., to the natural world. At the same time, the final decision adopted by the Constitutional Court overturned the decision of the judge of the first instance due to the lack of these opportunities by the current legal system of Colombia [16].

It is also necessary to note the case of Karnail Singh v. Haryana State [17] (India), where the High Court of Punjab and Haryana formulated theses that some types of non-human entities can act as legal entities [18], animals have human features, the religious aspect of this country implies a person's duty to compassion for them, etc. As a result, the court determined that representatives of the animal world act as legal entities that are in the care of citizens of the state (by analogy with the construction of parents/ children).

Thus, we see that this construction in different countries has different common and distinctive approaches for the purpose of highlighting the legal personality of AI. At the same time, the Habeas Corpus principle preserves the possibility of filing a lawsuit in court and does not limit the ability to defend questions about AI without working out the depth of the AI personality issue.

The second significant concept is the construction of AI = human. This phenomenon is necessary to study in order to identify the effectiveness of this design. Within the framework of the current phenomenon, it is necessary to consider examples of the phenomenon of the robot Sofia, Shibuya Mirai, as well as the AI "Dabus".

The first incident that causes serious legal consequences both at the level of international law and for the purposes of administrative and civil law is the phenomenon of the robot Sofia, who in 2017 received the citizenship of Saudi Arabia [19].

It should be noted that the classical legal registration of citizenship takes place according to three principles [20], namely citizenship obtained by birth, by marriage (for women only) and by naturalization. A workaround in this construction can be the personal command of the monarch of the country, which happened in this case. At the same time, it should be understood that in this case, a robot with a simplified design of a highly specialized AI receives rights equal to human rights, including the right to participate in power, the right to act as a subject of civil, administrative and criminal legal relations, etc. Positioning the robot as a subject of legal relations also opens up the question of its participation in legal relations in the territories of other countries, where it acts as a citizen of Saudi Arabia, and can also formally act as a participant in legal relations related to the protection of intellectual rights (as an author).

Following the example of Saudi Arabia, Japan, in 2017, grants a residence permit to the chatbot Shibuya Mirai [21]. It is noteworthy that this technology does not have a physical shell and is very similar in functional features to the software solution that is used in Russia for the purposes of public legal relations ("Public Services"). The issue of the legal formalization of this procedure causes discussion, since there is a legally limited list of grounds for obtaining a residence permit [22], and only people (foreign specialists, students, citizens, scientists, etc.) can act as persons receiving a residence permit.

In the context of individual legal relations, where AI is conditionally equated with human rights, is the case of "Dabus", which was implemented in South Africa and Australia.

It should be noted that this case has a long and ambiguous history, since initially the registration of a patent application, where the author of the scientific development is AI, was initiated by Stephen Taller (AI developer) in the USA. This decision was not supported either within the framework of the actions of the registering authority, or within the framework of the procedure for challenging an administrative decision in court. However, the AI author found the possibility of obtaining a local patent on the territory of South Africa, where there are significant features in the Patent Law of South Africa and the intellectual Property policy of South Africa [23-24]. Both of these documents contain the basic principles and approaches for the provision of patent certificates of the country, but do not contain the principle inherent in most countries of the Anglo-Saxon and Romano-Germanic groups of the orientation of intellectual property to the personality of the author = person. In addition, experts note that this "loophole" was used intentionally by Taller in view of the lack of competence of the authorities to conduct an examination of the application, in essence [25].

However, if experts in South Africa note the imperfection of the country's local legislation, then the example of the design of the invention of Dabus in Australia shows the inconsistency of this approach. As part of the judicial challenge regarding the illegal rejection of AI copyright registration, an interesting decision was made by Judge J. Beach [26], which indicates that the interpretation of Article 3.2 From the Patent Regulations [27] by the relevant authorities is not correct, since it does not specify a direct fixation of the authorship of a person. However, the court noted that AI cannot be a patent applicant or a patent recipient.

Thus, we see that the issue of positioning AI as a subject of legal relations is no longer a theoretical, but a practical case. However, the position of full-fledged equalization of his rights with a person raises questions, both at the level of legal approaches that require adjustment of constitutional documents, and individual documents regulating legal relations, where a person acts separately as a specific person. However, the allocation of individual structures where AI can act as a subject is permissible.

The third significant concept is the construction of AI = artificial person (electronic, legal, etc.). This phenomenon is necessary to study in order to identify the effectiveness of this design, taking into account doctrinal and practical approaches on the example of a number of countries.

The basic doctrinal approach to the allocation of a separate form of AI regulation in the context of a legal entity was set back in 1992 by Solum [28], who proposed the introduction of an appropriate superstructure based on trusts. Speaking about the artificial nature of corporations, it is important to keep in mind that in the historical concept of the scientific school of the USA, the legal personality of corporations is determined by the relevant court [29], which understands by corporation an artificial entity endowed with a number of properties that are prescribed to it by law. At the same time, in the human understanding, these corporations are immortal, and the process of changing managers and founders is a single component of the same legal entity that retains the right to own property and dispose of it, without the possibility of permanent transfer of affairs from hand to hand.

Developing this approach, the EU countries have developed a law on AI [30], which is interesting because it builds a risk-oriented approach to AI through the prism of legal entities, and also requires the formation of departments regulating this market segment at the level of national legislations.

In practice, through the prism of an agent, there is a case of allocating a separate legal personality of AI as a member of the board of directors within the framework of the Hong Kong venture firm Deep Knowledge Ventures[31], which brought the seed firm out of bankruptcy[32]. It should be noted that the loophole of the legal personality of AI through the design of the board of directors is technically (at the level of laws) feasible at the level of a number of jurisdictions[33].

In principle, the allocation of a separate structure through the prism of a person is the most preferable legal structure, which does not entail a revision of the fundamental foundations of law, the formation of a set of fundamental ethical issues, including for the purposes of public law.

It is necessary to note the position of O.A. Yastrebov, who fundamentally and systematically asks questions about the allocation of the legal personality of AI for the purposes of public law based on the design of an electronic person [34].

Based on the above , the following conclusions can be formulated:

1. The stability of the legal construction of AI = animal is currently poorly implemented, as well as the allocation of the specified legal personality through the Habeas Corpus construction. The ethical and anthropocentric view of individual judicial systems demonstrates that for AI as a phenomenon of technological thought, the principle equivalent to the animal world is poorly applicable, both for countries with the Romano-Germanic system and the Anglo-Saxon system of law, and at the level of exotic solutions of the religious system of law of India.

2. The stability of the legal structure of AI = human generates a fundamental request for the revision of constitutional provisions and the formation of additional add-ons in the sphere of individual legal relations. At the same time, it is necessary to understand that at the level of the allocation of legal personality as a person at the level of individual decisions (copyright protection) is present as a systemic phenomenon generated by the current local legislation in this area of each individual country.

3. The stability of the legal structure of AI = artificial face is the most preferable design for further study, since it removes ethical issues, requires minimal "cosmetic" improvements at the level of individual legislative acts, without revision of constitutional provisions.