Re: Rights for AIs are not a problem

From: J. Andrew Rogers (
Date: Tue Jan 17 2006 - 16:26:34 MST

On Jan 16, 2006, at 7:22 PM, Brian Atkins wrote:
> Legally, an AI being considered akin to a vase or rock, cannot own
> any shares in any corporation. The term "corporate AI" as you're
> using it makes no sense legally.
> Can an AI attempt to maintain control over the actions of a
> corporation via various methods without actually itself owning the
> controlling stock?

Tangent: A few States in the US recognize limited liability
constructs that completely separate stock ownership from control in
for-profit businesses -- a non-economic controlling interest.

The was invented (relatively recently as I recall) as a way for
parties to control vast assets but with no meaningful economic value
that could ever be attached or seized by the government e.g. in a
civil suit. The obvious application is a shelter for assets that one
never intends to liquidate for direct personal consumption which one
can still wield for all manner of purpose. Because the interest is
non-economic, the restrictions are less and control is nearly
impossible to take away (though I am quite sure they expect a Natural
Person at some point in the chain of responsibility).

In a few locales, a controlling interest so structured does not even
need to have much resembling legal visibility, allowing control to be
buried and transferred in such a way that it would take a concerted
judicial effort by the government to even get a hint that an AI was
running things in practice. It would make a very bizarre and utterly
fascinating legal case.

I am not sure what the point is though, since even humans have
limited free agency. One could achieve the same effective result for
AI without getting all sly and tricky.

J. Andrew Rogers

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