While it is hazardous to accurately anticipate how the maturation of emerging AI technologies may impact society at large, it is important for policymakers to initiate the process of understanding the truly disruptive nature of these technologies. As AI applications engage in behavior that, were it done by a human, would encroach upon the law, courts and other legal stakeholders would have to puzzle through whom to hold accountable and on what theory. This white paper attempts to lay out central concepts related to AI and complementary technologies, their rapid progress, and discuss the attendant salient legal, ethical, innovation and development policy issues. The paper is not meant to be exhaustive treatment of all issues but rather aimed at providing a broad overview of key issues thus stimulating World Bank Group wide discussion on the topic.
This paper was co-authored by Mirjana Stankovic, Ravi Gupta, Bertrand A. Rossert, Gordon I. Myers and Marco Nicoli. The paper gratefully benefited from comments provided by Professor Amedeo Santosuosso (ECLT, University of Pavia), Dr. Barbara Bottalico (ECLT, University of Pavia), Professor Oliver Goodenough (Center for Legal Innovation, Vermont Law School), Dr. Bratislav Stankovic (USPTO), Thomas A. Campbell (CEO and President FutureGrasp LLC), and Yupeng Chen (World Bank intern).