Technology has grown to become indispensable for human livelihood. Every area of man’s life and daily endeavor is connected to technologies. In recent times, technology has occupied an important place in the society that it will be impossible to imagine life without it. Humans are thinking beings who want and desperately search for easier ways of carrying out daily endeavours. This propels us to keep investing our time, energy, resources, and intellect in inventing technologies that are way advanced beyond our current civilization . A glance at the Stone Age period would depict a vast difference, growth and progress when compared to the 21st century evolution. This is a revelation of the extent of man’s innovation, creativity, hard work, and progression. In the 18th century, industrial revolution automated physical labor and replaced muscles with hydraulic pistons and diesel engines. Gone are the days where muscle power was the real deal.
It is in this sense that Artificial Intelligence (AI) was invented. Right from its birth, Artificial Intelligence was readily embraced. It has become the most trending topic in technological parlance. With the invention of AI, a revolution had begun as it is predicted that robots will take the place of humans in nearly all field of work and millions will be robbed of their jobs. This is the rise of a new world, a world most people were not prepared for.
Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized the way we live, interact and work. The society, interpersonal relationship and the understanding of the world has been deeply impacted by the emergence of AI. Although AI affects all fields of work, the legal profession has been greatly affected by these new technologies. The use of Artificial Intelligence and other technologies has raised several legal challenges globally and one of these challenges is the breach of Data Privacy and Data Protection Laws. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has evolved so much that several robots capable of interacting with humans by generating human like responses have been invented. Examples of these AI evolved tools are Chatbot such as Amazon’s Alexa, Siri, and ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI. These AI based tools can generate human-like responses to text-based prompts. These tools have the potential to be used in wide range of applications such as customer service, education, and entertainment. However, as mentioned earlier, its use raises questions on privacy and data protection laws.
2.0 THE CONCEPT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Undoubtedly, one of the most impactful technological advancements in 21st century is Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the ability to revolutionize the way we search for information through search engine algorithms, and the widespread adoption of AI assistants like Amazon’s Alexa in the customer sector, AI has emerged as a crucial sector that is taking the tech industry towards the future. Researchers understand that Artificial Intelligence is neither a novel term nor a new technology. Its origin is traced back further than many might expect, as even the myths of ancient Greece and Egypt contain tales of mechanical men.
The term Artificial Intelligence is defined as an area of computer science that deals with giving machines the ability to seem like they have human intelligence. The term is often applied in computer programs endowed with humanoid intellectual features such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize or learn from experience. This in essence means that Artificial Intelligence is not limited to robotics only. When we mention Artificial Intelligence, the first thing that comes to mind is Robotics. This naivety is as the result of how movies and novels weave stories of humanoid machines who wreak havoc on earth. Contrary to the nativity, Artificial Intelligence is all about how machines mimic human intelligence to execute tasks, from the simplest to the much more complex ones.
The term AI were first coined in 1956 at a conference. The discussion of the conference led to interdisciplinary information technology natural language. The advent of the internet helped technology to progress exponentially. AI technology was a stand-alone technology for 30yrs but now, the application is widespread in every sphere of life. Artificial Intelligence is known by the (AI) Acronym and is the process of recreating human intelligence in machines.
To mention a few, the examples of Artificial Intelligence are the following:
- Facial Recognition
- Speech Recognition
- Tesla self-driven motors
- Amazon’s Alexa
- Google maps
The importance of AI cannot be exaggerated. Among other things, AI can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, improving efficiency and productivity. AI can also analyze large amounts data and insights that humans may not be able to detect on their own. However, on the other hand, AI has some shortcomings which need to be considered. To name few of them: data privacy infringement, bias and discrimination and increasing unemployment rate.
2.1 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE LAW
Artificial Intelligence affects both the legal system and legal practice. The impact of AI is so vast that globally, new legislations are being proposed to curb the excesses/ risk of the use of Artificial Intelligence. In recent times, AI is used to review contracts, find relevant documents in the review process, and conduct legal research using AI powered tools such as Quick Check. The use of AI tools has proven to bring new challenges, raise new legal issues and a need for a reevaluation of existing public policies and legislations. The impact of Artificial Intelligence has been the forefront of legal debates and discussions.
LEGAL QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE USE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
1. Who is responsible where an AI algorithm makes a wrong decision?
2. Who takes liability where an automated self-driving car kills a pedestrian?
3. Do we forgo Privacy for either technological innovation or security?
4. How best to regulate social media?
5. What can we do to prevent algorithm discrimination?
6. What forms of technology enable human right abuse?
7. How do we protect copyrighted material in virtual worlds?
8. How to ensure the user’s personal data is kept safe?
2.2 LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
- BREACH OF DATA PRIVACY
Everyone who makes use of the internet and access AI powered tools are referred to as Data subjects. These personal data are received, processed, stored, or transferred by a Data controller.
Who is a Data Controller?
These are natural or juristic person who receive, process, stores or transfer the personal data of a Data Subject. Examples are financial institution, Shopping Apps, Social media tools (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc.) Search engines, Telecom operators etc.
What is Personal Data?
This is information that can easily identify a person. Examples are Name, Date of Birth, Place of work, home address, Plate Number, Driver’s license number and Picture.
The use of Artificial Intelligence has made these personal data susceptible to breach. For the use of most AI powered tools, there is the need to receive and process personal data of a Data Subject intending to make use of the technology. When we visit websites pages online, we accept cookies and in effect, our data is received by the Data controller for processing and even storage.
There is the user-friendly AI powered tool, Chatbot which is more like an interactive search engine. Examples of the Chatbot are the Amazon’s Alexia, Siri and ChatGPT. These Chatbot generate human like responses to text based prompts. Chatbot has been discovered to give harmful instruction of biased content, incorrect information, and violation of data privacy. A good example is the ChatGPT.
3.0 ChatGPT AND DATA PRIVACY
ChatGPT is a chatbot, a language (large) Model trained by OpenAI. It is an invention by an American AI laboratory in 2021. The AI-powered tool can use natural language processing to create humanlike conversational dialogue.However, ChatGPT has some notable disadvantages which are acknowledged by OpenAI itself. ChatGPT may generate incorrect information and produce harmful instructions of biased content.
Due to the negative impact on Privacy and Data protection laws, ChatGPT is faced with an uncertain future as countries globally begin to acknowledge its ills and vices to the extent of banning the app. ChatGPT does not recognize confidentiality and does not require consent of a Data Subject before processing and transferring all personal data received. This is an outright violation of data privacy. Also, there is no end-to-end encryption in our conversations with ChatGPT. This means that no iota of privacy exists while using the ChatGPT tool.
With the advent of new technologies and Artificial Intelligence, the issue of liability surfaces. There is the need to review existing laws, regulations, and policies to attend to legal issues that may arise from using Artificial Intelligence powered tools.
In the past, there were no automated cars but now there are several Tesla self-driven motors. Who takes responsibility when harm is sustained by a pedestrian? The Robot Sophia, an advanced AI invention may malfunction and cause property damage, bodily harm to people around her. Who bears liability?
Do not Pay, the World’s first Robot Lawyer may malfunction during trial leaving its client unrepresented at that moment, who bears the liability? These are valid questions that comes to mind when considering the legal implication of using Artificial Intelligence without regulation.
ii. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
This is concerned with the protection of works of arts, inventions, trademarks etc. With the continuous invention of technologies, there is the race for patents.
Recently, there has been debates as to whether juristic / Artificial persons can be granted a patent for an invention. Artificial Intelligence has evolved over the years and now it has begun to invent new technologies on its own. The question now is, will the AI be granted a Patent and be recognized as the main inventor even when it is only a natural person that can be recognized as an inventor?
iii. ETHICS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
The use of Artificial Intelligence has enabled several progresses in Medical and Scientific experiments. With the advent of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, the Agricultural and Medical field has been positively impacted.
However, where we have benefits, there are vices too. The use of Biotechnology and Bioengineering has encouraged some scientist to conduct unethical experiment against public policy. There has been genetic editing, manipulations and engineering not approved by the scientific world. These experiments are conducted in private but a unique case in China exposed these illegal acts conducted in private.
In China, a Chinese scientist He Jiankui in 2018 was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment on the charge that he conducted human genome-editing on a twin fetus. This was frowned upon by the Scientific community as the practice was deemed illegal and unethical. His act was only possible due to the advancement of Bioengineering.
3.1 ARIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: REGULATIONS/LEGISLATION
In response to challenges/ issues pose using Artificial Intelligence globally, at least 60 nations have adopted AI regulations since 2017.
In Europe, the absence of thorough regulations of artificial intelligence concerned the European Union especially in respect of personal data protection. The EU proposed a new legislation, the AI Act. It will significantly bolster the regulations, development, and the use of AI in every member State.
China is one of the most technologically advanced country in the world. The Chinese authority has recently issued regulations prohibiting the creation of AI generated media without clear labels such as watermarks- among other policies. Also, every Artificial Intelligence technology invented must pass through security check and be cleared before it is allowed for distribution in the country. The Chinese authority recognizes the high risk that AI can pose if unchecked or regulated.
In India, there is no legislation/regulation for the use of Artificial Intelligence or data protection. However, Section 43A and 72A of the Information Technology Act protects personal data. The world is still trying to keep up with the fast pace by which technology is advancing.
LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK IN NIGERIA
Nigeria as a developing country is yet to invest in the use of advanced Artificial intelligence technologies such as the Nanotechnology, Robotics, Automated motors etc. While other developing countries are fast deploying technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Automated cars, Biotechnology and others, Nigeria is still at a slow pace with the adoption.
However, Nigeria is a country deeply invested in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Media and Telecommunication. The Legislators have done quite well in enacting some laws to tackle some challenges arising from the use of technologies in respect of Data Privacy and Internet generated crimes.
The primary legislation on Data Privacy and Data Protection Law in Nigeria is the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 in conjunction with Section 37 of the 1999Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Below is the list of innovative laws enacted to curb some excesses of the use of Internet and Artificial Intelligence powered tools.
- Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) 2019
- section 37 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) protects every data subject.
- Copyright Act 2022
- Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015 “the Cybercrimes Act”
- National Identity Management Commission Act, 2007 “NIMC Act”
The use of Artificial Intelligence presents a range of legal implications that needs to be addressed. These includes privacy, liability, intellectual property, and ethics.
As technology continues to evolve, it is essential for law makers, legal professionals, and the society to understand these legal implications and work towards developing legal frameworks social responsibility and ethical use of emerging technologies.
The advent of technology is an indicator of the rise of a new world. Technology will continue to advance and evolve; it is our responsibility to keep up with our creations in other to avoid the looming chaos brewing.
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