Speaker: Professor Teresa Rodríguez de las Heras Ballell (University Carlos III of Madrid)
A 3CL seminar held jointly with the Cambridge Private Law Centre.
Algorithmic and AI-driven automation has pervaded an immense and growing variety of tasks, activities, and decision-making processes in the digital economy. From basic tasks (searching, comparing, ordering, prioritizing), to more sophisticated added-value services (profiling, personalizing, recommending, multi-attribute rating, filtering, content moderation, algorithmic management, complaint handling, negotiation, automatic adjustment of conditions), they are performed by algorithm/AI-driven systems. The benefits of efficiency, rapidity, personalization, and cost-reduction have also encouraged the use of algorithms in the contract life-cycle: from the negotiation phase to the performance of obligations – electronic agents/delegates, virtual assistants, smart products, personalized transactions, ‘dynamic contract terms’, etc.
The potential of automation for the future of digital society as well as their inherent risks have not gone unnoticed for the EU. References to automation are scattered in EU legislation and a set of principles are precipitating in legal provisions included in legislative proposals and in recently adopted instruments, but a consistent, coherent, and all-embracing body of principles/rules governing ADM systems is still lacking.
A Digital Single Market for ADM will not thrive in the absence of a unified, clear, predictable, consistent, highly-coherent and well-balanced legal framework in the Union – as the use of automation and AI in international trade will only flourish within a solid and predictable framework of harmonized rules (as the UNCITRAL WG IV is working on). To decide which rules must be amended and whether new rules must be enacted to ensure the validity and enforceability of ADM and promote the responsible use of algorithms, Guiding Principles on ADM are needed to provide guidance to policymakers and lawmakers.
Biography: Professor Rodriguez de las Heras Ballell is Professor of Commercial Law, Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain. She works extensively in the area of AI, the digital economy and fintech, and is a member of EU Expert Groups on Liability for AI and other emerging technologies, on the Platform Economy and on Model Contract Terms for B2B Data Sharing and Cloud Computing.
She is also an expert at UNIDROIT and UNCITRAL in Working Groups on Enforcement (Technology), Warehouse Receipts and Digital Economy (AI for international trade, Data transactions, Online Platforms) and has been the Spanish Delegate to UNCITRAL WG VI on Security Interests and WG IV on E-Commerce (Projects on AI in international data and Data transactions), and to UNIDROIT for the MAC protocol to the Cape Town Convention.
She is an active member of the European Law Institute, and has been involved in many ELI projects: as the author of “Guiding Principles on ADM in Europe”, (2022), as co-reporter to the Project on Algorithmic Contracts, as a member of the project on Model Rules for Online Platforms and as assessor to the project on Smart Contracts and Blockchain.
Her main other research interests focus on international business transactions and secured transactions and corporate finance.
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