John Weaver to Present on Limited Legal Personhood for AI

McLane Middleton attorney John Weaver will be presenting at the upcoming Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Law Meetup, “Limited legal Personhood for AI,” on April 22, 2020.

As John discusses in his book, Robots Are People Too, nearly every law in the United States is built on an underlying assumption: only human beings make decisions. As autonomous technology, machine learning applications, and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) become increasingly ubiquitous around us, that assumption becomes less true, causing tension between how we use technology and how legal models function. During the presentation, John will discuss how granting limited legal personhood (similar to cities and corporations) to certain forms of AI addresses that tension and ensures that laws function properly.  After explaining limited legal personhood and some of the problems inherent in regulating AI and any emerging technology, John will present situations where countries are already granting some forms of limited legal personhood to AI.  From there, John will discuss key areas where the law does not properly address the functionalities of AI applications and how limited legal personhood can help.

John is a member of McLane Middleton’s Corporate and Privacy and Data Security Practice Groups.  As a data privacy and security attorney, he assists clients to comply with domestic and global privacy laws (e.g., CCPA, PIPEDA, GDPR, etc.), respond to data breaches and incidents, conduct information risk assessments, remediate security gaps, negotiate data licensing and processing agreements, and evaluate acquisition targets for data liabilities. As an emerging technologies lawyer, he advises a wide range of companies – from startups to international corporations – on regulatory and legal issues unique to those technologies, including consumer protection requirements governing artificial intelligence, regulations governing drones, state legislation affecting self-driving cars, and the impact of autonomous devices and programs on user and employment agreements.

In addition the being the author of Robots Are People Too, which explores legal issues implicated by autonomous technology and artificial intelligence, John is also a contributing writer at Slate magazine, where his articles focus on similar issues. He is also a member of the board of editors and a columnist for The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.  John is also a sought after speaker on topics related to law and emerging technologies, and has been interviewed by The Atlantic, Consumer Reports, and the Wall Street Journal, among other media outlets.

John can be reached in the firm’s Boston office at (781) 904-2685 or