Prof. Dr. Patrick C. Leyens, LL.M. (London)
Stefan Heiss received the Theodor Körner Award for his dissertation project. The Theodor Körner Fund supports rising scientists from a wide range of disciplines. Laureates are already doing excellent work in their fields and further innovative work can be expected. The prize was awarded by the Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen (on the right in the picture). Stefan’s project was the only work in the field of law to be honored.
The topic of the doctoral project supervised by Professor Patrick C. Leyens is entitled "Artificial Intelligence and Civil Liability". Overall, the aim of the research project is to develop solutions for liability gaps resulting from AI. Insufficient liability rules can lead the development of new technologies into an inadequate direction. Liability law plays a central role in risk governance and providing incentives for the usage of socially desirable AI.
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June 9, 2022
Smart Contracts promise to entail substantial efficiency gains for transactions in the B2B context, which rely on simplicity, promptness, and legal certainty. In an article written in German, Patrick C. Leyens, Stefan Heiss, and Lukas Soritz analyze an important question for B2B transactions: Whether and to what extent is existing law capable of enabling the digital transformation of the economy regarding Smart Contracts. First, increased personal responsibility of the participants makes private autonomy a central interest, and especially considering it gives greater leeway to self-enforcing arrangements. Second, the improved possibility of information processing leads to a restrained control of general terms and conditions. To conclude, Smart Contracts have the potential to be the main driver of a self-written law by B2B actors in the digitalized economy.
Open-Access download: https://doi.org/10.33196/jbl202203013701
Date: May 5, 2022
In a recent paper, Stefan Heiss analyzes the European Parliament’s draft regulation on new liability rules for Artificial Intelligence. Since insufficient liability rules might lead the development of the technology into an inadequate direction, further assessment of the draft regulation’s consequences is needed. In conclusion, reciprocal damages between AI-systems are not addressed appropriately by the European proposal. The reason, in essence, is that when two high-risk AI Systems cause harm to each other none would in fact bear the total amount of losses. This is due to the inherent nature of tort law’s reciprocal compensation. In order to close this gap a scheme of “strict liability to the state” is outlined. AI operators involved are strictly liable, but instead of compensating the other party, payments of the caused damage are made to the state. The paper was published by Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal.
Open-Access download: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_science_technology_law_journal/vol12/iss2/4
Based on the research above, a German article has been published in the European Journal of Business Law (EuZW) by Stefan Heiss. In addition, the paper discusses the significant changes introduced by the European Commission's proposal on AI and includes comparisons with European and German law.
Date: Nov. 8, 2021
The edited volume „Smart Regulation: Vertrag, Unternehmung und Markt“ [Smart Regulation: Contract, Corporation and Market] contains the contributions to the same titled symposium, which took place on October 2, 2020 at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria. Smart Regulation focusses on innovative approaches to regulation. The interdisciplinary research on it gathered in this volume addresses the challenges and opportunities of new technologies, takes into account novel insights into human behavior, and helps to unlock forward-looking regulatory techniques. The volume has been edited by Patrick C. Leyens, Iris Eisenberger and Rainer Niemann.
Print: ISBN 978-3-16-160734-8, DOI 10.1628/978-3-16-160734-9
eBook (Open Access): eISBN 978-3-16-160734-9