Mohamed Ahmed Al-Minshawy Mohamed Chawki https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3189-5444 Mohamed Said Abdelaty


Due to the continual increase use of artificial intelligence (AI) applications, especially robots, people’s interaction with these applications increases; a matter that may lead to aggressive activities. This requires that Criminal Law provisions should be applied to protect these applications against such aggression. However, due to the novelty of these applications as well as the lack of any relevant legal provisions, this paper shall attempt to employ the existing provisions of Criminal Code as well as those provisions on cybercrimes to bridge this gap in legislation, with the intention of protecting these new applications. This, in turn, leads to the research problem that has to do with the role of the penal code with all its general/private rules and provisions to protect the robots. In doing so, the authors relied on the theory of the interest protected by the Penal Code to identify the victim. As per the EU rule on transferring the labiality resulting from the robot’s actions to the human representative in charge, owner of the protected interest, that is, the human representative in charge is the person responsible for the robot’s actions, meaning that robots won’t be the victims, but rather the human representative in charge. Regarding the material essence of robots, it may be considered an item. Since they can neither move nor take a decision without their owners; that’s to say that they are not competent yet, they are considered smart items of special nature. This thus means that they can be protected under the criminal provisions relating to the protection of computer hardware by cybercrimes law.  As for the robot’s incorporeal essence represented in the AI programs, it has to do with two kinds of criminal acts: against the programmer whose programs are the product of his thoughts and are thus considered an innovation. As such, the same law on the author’s right applies to the robot’s owner, since he has control over them. Therefore, his right to be protected is that of property. For this reason, Cybercrime Law is the most worthy to protect this very right. Finally, if the aggression against the robot is done by the programmer – owner of the invention – or by the owner, especially in light of the lack of criminal provisions on robots, there is no way out from resorting to provisions on the NGOs concerned with safeguarding the rights of these organizations. This is what is approved by the civil, legal rules on robots issued by the EU on the necessity of establishing associations and organizations entitled to defending the rights of robots, such as the European Agency on Robots, to define the ethical rules for manufacturing and conduct trade on robots. However, there is still a necessity for legislative interventions to protect all the AI apps so that they would be compatible with their special nature.


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