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Discussion on: On Artificial (Un)Intelligence

elliottbignell profile image
Elliott Bignell

What is the Talmudic position on damage caused by straying livestock? It seems to me that an AI, especially a robot, has many of the aspects of an animal. As seen by people, it is widely presumed to have agency but no moral understanding or liability. There must be a wealth of case law on injuries due to animals released deliberately and inadvertently.

yechielk profile image
Yechiel Kalmenson Author

Yes! I can't believe my thoughts didn't go in that direction!

Damage caused by livestock is a huge topic in the Talmud!

In general people are responsible to ensure that their animals do not do damage. How much they are liable though depends on the type of damage, the animal's intent in the damage (was it in anger like an ox goring a rival ox? Was it for the animal's pleasure like a goat eating up the neighbor's vegetable patch?), and on whether it's a repeat offense (you have a stronger responsibility to keep your ox in check if he's known to be aggressive and has gored a few times in the past).

In fact, we could probably have an entire discussion just trying to figure out what case would be the most analogous to AI 😊