The General Secretariat of the Supreme Legislation Committee in the Emirate of Dubai (SLC) organised an awareness workshop dubbed ‘Civil Liability for Damage Caused by the Use of AI Technologies’ on September XX, 2023. The workshop comes in line with the goal of promoting legal awareness and legislative knowledge amongst Dubai Government employees. The workshop was conducted virtually through Microsoft Teams, with the attendance of numerous government entity employees.
The workshop was presented by Dr. Yahia Abdulla Al Adwan, SLC Legal Advisor, who highlighted the concept and features of artificial intelligence (AI), further emphasising the civil liability arising from the damage caused by this technology. He also shed light on the barriers to application of the general rules of liability to the damage caused by AI technologies, and discussed proposed solutions and techniques to determine those responsible for that damage.
Ahmad bin Meshar Al Muhairi, SLC Secretary General, said: “The SLC places great importance on improving the flexibility and evolution of Dubai’s legislative ecosystem to keep up with the pace of technological advancements and effectively address the rising usage of AI technologies and applications across different spheres of life. In this context, there is a need for enhancing the legislative infrastructure to regulate the use of AI systems and determine the liability for the damage caused to others by these systems and technologies. Organising this workshop comes in line with the SLC’s objective to enhance legal knowledge, reinforce various channels of cooperation, and share expertise with its government partners.”
During the workshop, Dr. Al Adwan shed light on the basic concept and features of AI and its main application in current scenarios. He asserted that understanding AI raises several questions on the efficiency of the existing general rules of civil liability in ensuring compensation for the damage arising from the use of AI applications across various spheres of life, particularly in the absence of a legal framework to govern these applications until now. Dr. Al Adwan added that there are a number of obstacles that make it difficult to apply these general rules to the damage caused by AI technologies, foremost among which is the functional independence of these technologies, which render them completely independent from the control of any supervisor. The obstacles also include the unpredictability of AI actions, the diversity of its activities, and the substantial number of individuals involved in managing these activities.
Furthermore, Dr. Al Adwan stressed that due to the lack of the general rules of civil liability required to address the damage associated with AI applications and to determine the persons responsible for that damage, several attempts have been made by legal professionals to introduce solutions that adapt to the developments occasioned by AI. The solutions proposed by jurisprudence include the differentiation between the ‘liability for defects’ and ‘liability for use’, the recognition of AI technology as an independent legal personality, and the development of a new legal framework to regulate the use of AI technologies and determine the persons liable for compensation for the losses caused by that use.
Established by Decree No. (23) of 2014, the SLC has been organising several awareness workshops and panel discussions for government entities At regular intervals. These workshops and discussions are conducted with a view to promoting legislative culture among government employees and fostering their knowledge on legislation. This kind of knowledge will place government employees in a better position to anticipate a more efficient legislative system for Dubai, and to exchange insights and experience in areas related to legislative work.