The Forschungsstelle has been working to accompany technological development since it was established. Since then, a number of core research areas have emerged, not only as reflected in our numerous projects, but also in our dissertations. In addition to civil liability law, criminal law, and data protection law, other areas of law are increasingly facing challenges through the development of partially automated systems and artificial intelligence.
Who is liable to pay compensation if a (partially) autonomous machine causes damage? The manufacturer? The programmer? The person who employed it? Or is it even possible that the machine itself is liable?
Where damage is caused by a machine, it is necessary to distinguish between civil liability for compensation for damage caused and criminal liability for damage to property or for causing bodily harm.
Data protection problems are currently of even greater importance than liability issues. There are increasingly acute conflicts between issues related to privacy, security, and practical business utility.
Our core areas taken all together feed into the question of under what conditions the State, as the entity charged with protecting its citizens, should permit the introduction of autonomous machines at all. The question is particularly urgent against the background of systems that show an allegedly intelligent behaviour.
Despite plenty of resistance the field of medicine is getting more and more caught by digitisation.