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  • Elevating Legal Informatics in the Digital Age

    Stanley Greenstein

    Chapter from the book: Petersson, S. 2021. Digital Human Sciences: New Objects – New Approaches.

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    The widespread use of digital technologies within society incorporating elements of artificial intelligence (AI) is increasing at a phenomenal rate. This technology promises a multitude of advantages for the development of society. However, it also entails risks. A characteristic of AI technology is that, in addition to using knowledge from computer science, it is increasingly being combined with insights from within the cognitive sciences. This deeper insight into human behavior combined with technology increases the ability of those who control the technology to not only predict but also manipulate human behavior. A function of the law is to protect individuals and society from risks and vulnerabilities, including those associated with technology. The more complex the technologies applied in society, the more difficult it may be to identify the potential harms associated with the technologies. Consequently, it is worthwhile discussing the extent to which the law protects society from the risks associated with technology. In applying the law, the dominant method is the “traditional legal science method.” It incorporates a dogmatic approach and can be described as the default legal problem-solving mechanism utilized by legal students and practitioners. A question that arises is whether it is equipped to meet the new demands placed on law in an increasingly technocratic society. Attempting to frame the modern risks to society using a traditional legal science method alone is bound to provide an unsatisfactory result in that it fails to provide a complete picture of the problem. Simply put, modern societal problems that arise from the use of new digital technologies are multidimensional in nature and require a multidisciplinary solution. In other words, applying a restrictive legal approach may result in solutions that are logical from a purely legal perspective but that are out of step with reality, potentially resulting in unjust solutions. This chapter examines the increased digitalization of society from the legal perspective and also elevates the application of the legal informatics approach as a means of better aligning research within in legal science with other disciplines.

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    Greenstein, S. 2021. Elevating Legal Informatics in the Digital Age. In: Petersson, S (ed.), Digital Human Sciences. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bbk.g

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on June 8, 2021


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