Robots Are Not People

Logo 600 x 600This episode was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had in my life. This was something special.

Matt Scherer, the A.I. Lawyer himself, joins us again to talk about his recent blog posts on “Robotic Personhood.”

Here’s the set-up: A well-regarded law professor, Shawn Bayern, published a law review article arguing that it is possible under current limited liability company (“LLC”) laws to create a legal entity (an LLC) that was completely run and occupied by an Artificial Intelligence system.

Essentially, Bayern’s argument was that you could create an “A.I. Person” under the current laws, in that you could have a legal entity operating without any human involved.

That’s an “out there” concept.

But Matt disagreed with Bayern’s arguments. He did a great job laying out his points in a series of blog posts, linked down below, that “go deep” into the statutory analysis.

So we get into that a little bit.

But the bigger conversation we started having was about the bigger concept of A.I. personhood. How do you even think about that? Why should you care?

Well, you should care.

This may be the biggest legal question our society has ever faced.

If you know me by now, Drone Law Nation, you know that I’ve played it straight with you. This time is no different. I really think that this issue is a big freaking deal. It’s something we have to talk about.

This episode records our attempt to do just that. To talk about things that are hard to even describe.

Listen in.

And think about what’s next.

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Links for You:

Matt Scherer’s Law Firm Contact Information

AI Personhood Blog Post Part 1

AI Personhood Blog Post Part 2

AI Personhood Blog Post Part 3

Professor Bayern’s Article

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. – The Common Law

Our first interview with Matt

Our first “AI” episode


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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Keep on Flying,




The Future of AI and Drones: Where Artificial Intelligence Goes from Here, with Matt Scherer

Logo 600 x 600How we grapple with artificial intelligence may end up as the most important technological question of our time. What does it mean to be human if we create super-intelligent machines?

If a robot seems to have a conscience, or consciousness, what then?

Could an A.I. entity own property, control its own money, and make its own decisions? Could an A.I. become a virtual “person” like a corporation, and maybe live forever?

Will A.I. even be recognizable to us? Will it resemble our human minds, or will it be entirely foreign, like a cuttlefish? Or an ant?

Can you sue a robot? Can you punish software? Would that be like “suing the devil?”

These are defining questions. They are at the edge of what it means to be human. What it means to live with each other. And, at bottom, that’s what law is about.

When drones are controlled by A.I. systems, whatever those look like, the legal questions get immediately sticky. They get very difficult. This is all going to happen, faster than you think.

In today’s episode, our guest is Matt Scherer. You may remember him from our last “A.I.” episode as the author of an interesting article on A.I. and the law.

In his day job, Matt is a labor and employment attorney with the Portland, Oregon law firm of Buchanan Angeli Altschul & Sullivan. But like all super heroes, Matt has a “secret identity” as a leading authority on A.I. and the law.

Matt’s recent article on Regulating Artificial Intelligence Systems was just published by the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. The article (which you should read!) touches on a number of issues that will impact the future of how we interact with A.I. in our legal system.

The article also serves as a launching point for our discussion about drones and A.I. Do listen in, as your future may depend on it.

Links for you:

Matt’s Blog,

Matt’s law firm bio

Regulating Artificial Intelligence Systems: Harvard Journal of Law & Technology

Our prior episode on A.I. and Drones

Nick Bostrom, Super Intelligence

Wait But Why, The A.I. Revolution


Time-Travel Grammar from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Also see:

The Sam Harris TED Talk on A.I. (this came out the day after we recorded our interview)


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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

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Keep on flying,