Artificial Intelligence and Big Data: Professor Klaus Heine

The School of Law are delighted to welcome Professor Klaus Heine who will be speaking about Artificial Intelligence.

Klaus Heine is Professor of Law and Economics at the Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam. He has ample experience in teaching European economic policy at the bachelor, master, and doctoral level. His research areas are European economic policy, law and economics, and management. He was awarded the Jean Monnet Chair of Economic Analysis of European Law in June 2012. Since September 2019 he is a Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Digital Governance, jointly with Pinar Akman (University of Leeds) and Oren Perez (Bar-Ilan University). He has been involved in policy consulting to the Dutch and German government with regard to Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. Currently he is a member of the platform Learning Systems, which brings together expertise from science, industry and society for fostering Germany‘s position as an international technology leader.


“Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked?" (Baron Edward Thurlow, 1731-1806). This famous quote was once targeted at corporations when fitted with their own legal personality. Artificial intelligence raises again forcefully the question whether non-humans can have legal personality. Should an AI robot be considered as having a sort of legal personality? This does not mean that robots are humanlike, but that the legal order could attribute certain rights and obligations directly to robots. As a consequence, instead of an all-encompassing property right (that is today with the owner of an AI robot) a contractual relation would constitute the association between humans and AI robots. Granting legal personality to AI robots lends the discourse about the legal status of AI robots into a new direction that does not only hint to smart solutions for liability issues but connects also to other legal areas, as data ownership, intellectual property and competition law. For example, if the intellectual property rights are (partly) with the robots themselves, society has a better chance to fully exploit the value of inventions made by AI robots and to facilitate fair competition among the products created by AI robots and big data.

This is a free event, though registration is recommended. Register your place.