Expert Insight

Legislations and Fourth Industrial Revolution Data Products Lawyer and Legal Counsel . lawyer.Omran bin Ali bin Saeed Al-Hattali

Today, the world lives in a fast-paced society, as modern systems and technologies are racing against what has come to be known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It brings about us Internet of Things Technology - Augmented Reality Technology - Nano Technologies - Artificial Intelligence - and 3D printing. Other data of this revolution are yet to come, I trust. What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution? What revolutions preceded it? How does all this connect with legislation and the law? In the coming lines, I will attempt to answer these questions and more.

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2016 referred to “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” as (4IR), as the last episode of a series of industrial revolutions. 4IR features are now emerging, and signifies the integration of digital, physical and biological systems in a way that positively affects the standard of living of people. After the first industrial revolution, with the discovery of the steam engine in 1784, followed by the second revolution, which launched with the discovery of electricity in 1870, the third revolution, started in the last third of the twentieth century with the invention of computers and the amazing development in communications technology.

Some may think that the prospect of the future, given pro Fourth Industrial Revolution efforts by many bodies and countries around the world has received a media aura and noise greater than its natural size. They consider all amplifications to be media bubbles just for consumption that do not necessarily reflect the extent of individuals awareness and the development of societies of the data that the Fourth Industrial Revolution carries. They claim that the emerging forums, conferences and lectures, which depict the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is nothing but a waste of time, money and effort, without return and of no benefit.

I say: an accelerating world, which makes tremendous and huge leaps in all areas, has made some ideas - which some may consider to be of science fiction, as impossible to implement nowadays (such as smart and thinking robots that will invade all aspects of human life) - a reality that imposes itself strongly, and an inevitable coming that will penetrate all areas of life and have direct impacts on all laws regulating human life. Legislators did not stand still upon the advent of the unplanned accelerations associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Throughout the world, legislators are trying hard to keep pace with the accelerating stride of the digital world, by enacting laws that regulate relations and digital transactions. But, is this pace compatible with the tremendous scientific progress the world is witnessing? If we know, for example: that dealing in electronic currencies - a 4IR data product - has reached millions of transactions across the world. These multiplied transactions pose a real challenge in enacting regulations and laws to recognize electronic currencies, which have developed into a threat to conventional banknotes. Will countries adopt national digital currencies in the future?

The existence of very advanced quantum computing systems, such as a quantum computer, has become a reality. Intel has a quantum computer simulation computer, which researchers can use to simulate quantum computing. (Simply, quantum computing is: a newer way to design microprocessors based on the laws of quantum physics). Giants across the world are racing, such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, and others for faster access to this technology, which may directly and strongly influence the entry of the world into the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is because quantum computing exceeds ordinary computing in terms of achieving important scientific and technological leaps by opening the door wide horizons for processing big data, understanding natural phenomena, and accomplishing complex tasks, by performing extremely complex or impossible calculations in record time, compared to the most powerful supercomputers that exist today. Their superb capabilities and advancements, enable the decoding of any secret number encrypted at the current security level in a few minutes or even seconds. These advancements suggest that the upcoming danger in the spread of crime at a large scale should individuals acquire those supercomputers, expected to invade the world within the next ten years.

Artificial intelligence on the other hand, which is the main pillar of the fourth industrial revolution, will change the world in all areas of life.

To approach this subject closer, let us define artificial intelligence. AI as defined by the two scientists, Andreas Kaplan and Michael Heinlein refers to "the system's ability to properly interpret external data, learn from this data, and use that knowledge to achieve specific goals and tasks through flexible adaptation". This means: in regular computer programs, a user stores the question and answers in advance, in order to provide pre-stored solutions and answers when requested. In other words, a person must know how to solve these issues in order to program the correct answer into the computer, while the computer provides it to those who search for it later. As for artificial intelligence, there is no need to know the solution, it is sufficient to provide the artificial intelligence with examples and accurate data for the concerned subject, and following deep analysis of all the examples stored beforehand, artificial intelligence determines for you the best and most appropriate solution to that issue and determines for you the ratio of correctness and error. For example: Large data on diseases and symptoms associated with them, and their treatments are stored in artificial intelligence so that when a new disease condition appears, through examinations and accompanying symptoms, artificial intelligence determines the type of disease, and the optimal drug for that specific patient based on the latest data and accurate medical research. AI could also research the latest published medical studies and scientific research. It is well known in the medical world that a published study or research needs at least six months until most doctors can review it. However, in the case of artificial intelligence and with its constant connection to the Internet, it will be able to identify all the published scientific research concurrently, and analyze its data which introduce benefits to the furthest extent.

Decision Making

The most treacherous element that we fear is to allow artificial intelligence the right to make crucial decisions and determinations concerning the lives of individuals. It is expected that with the development of science, a small (nano robot) will be invented and transplanted into the human body to discover diseases at birth which will be fed with data to treat such aliments. What if the robot reveals that a pregnant woman with a fetus could be born with deformity? Artificial intelligence then decides to terminate the fetus and makes a fateful decision concerning the life of a human being. To be more realistic, imagine that a self-driven car traveling at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour suddenly encounters a passerby or a child ahead. In part of a second the artificial intelligence makes rapid calculations and decided that if the car were to swerve right it will collide with the sidewalk and kill the driver, and if it were to switch the left it will collide face to face with car in the opposite direction, and it will also kill the driver, and if it were to decide to halt the car, the data shows that the abrupt stopping of the car will take place several meters after hitting the pedestrian, which may lead to his or her death. What will artificial intelligence decide? Will it kill the driver or the pedestrian? Who has priority to stay alive here? Does it have the right - in principle - to take a decision to end the life of a person? And do we hold it accountable under the law for manslaughter? Who will bear the consequences of manslaughter? And who will bring it to trial? Is it the artificial intelligence, its owner, programmer or producer? We will be presented with many legal questions by artificial intelligence, as it penetrates all aspects of our life. Will lawmakers worldwide develop legal solutions and fundamental understanding of the values ​​and principles that underlie the data products of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? This is what the coming days will reveal to us.

In the field of law, we claim that artificial intelligence is capable of establishing an artificial intelligence court presided over by His Excellency the Thinking Judge Robot and Programmer! who is able of analyzing and following the correct procedures conduct the correct and legal process according to law, how not? By feeding artificial intelligence with all cases, provisions, laws and legal rules, it will be able to search in the depths of all such laws and legal rules; analyze all such data and compare all judgments rendered in similar cases, infer the ideal solutions, and the exact possibilities for each case, not to mention its ability to learn quickly, and arrive at the correct conclusion. It will determine the appropriate judgment for you at very high accuracy ratios. With the spread of this technology, and its application through other computers platforms and mobile applications, it will penetrate the world of law. It will be able to provide in-depth legal advice with high capacity and understanding that may exceed what most attorneys and legal researchers can absorb, since it will beat human mind memorization talents and abilities to compare and analyze legal texts and materials. No one will be able to beat the machine. What confirms this claim, is that artificial intelligence referred to as (Alpha Zero) was able to beat the world champion in chess. After four hours being given the rules of the game and allowing it some practice time to try all possible attempts, it learned and developed skills. It was then able to beat the world champion in Chess in 25 games in a row challenge.

Future Aspirations

Within the realm of the results and aspirations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are sometimes stricken with dangerous expectations that may affect individuals and societies. A while ago, expectations about some future expendable professions, with the advent of 4IR. The arrival of artificial intelligence that will lead the world, may certainly promise many changes to the existing occupations, that will disappear permanently These include the profession of airline ticketing employee, postman, pilots, meter reader, legal jobs and many other professions that are threatened considering the upcoming developments. Nonetheless, similar to what happened in the previous three revolutions, as some traditional professions disappeared, new and innovative professions surfaced in order to cover the shortage experienced in those professions, and could solve the problem of unemployment societies were faced with when the industrial revolutions occurred and the world transformed one era to another. Examples of those professions that have become extinct include (Al-Saqi) profession who is the person who used to deliver water to the houses. This profession vanished with the emergence of water pipes and networks to households. That profession disappeared, and the need for a new profession emerged; the (plumber) profession, who fixes connections and pipes at homes. There are many professions that were trodden by time, such as (elevator man), since the time elevators were complicated to operate and a trained person was needed.

Studies have broken the news to us that legal functions may be affected by the fourth industrial revolution, such as the legal researcher, legal profession and legal counselor. Expectations predict that artificial intelligence is capable pf devising possible smart solutions, de-tangle complicated issues and cases, research and dive in depth into laws to develop legal solutions and pleadings. This is an indication to legal practitioners around the world how fragile the current system is. It is rather has brought to mind that smart machines are and will be able to steal their dreams and future aspirations before their eyes. The reality yet to come about us will introduce serious concerns and dangers that we will not realize until when and how they will take place. They are definitely are becoming a reality for some of us. Alike to what has been discussed earlier, the launch of any new industrial revolution, will create new job opportunities and unlimited possibilities for development and creativity. The upcoming developments in the area of law, in general, promises a fruitful future, as is the case for other professions that will evolve and adapt to the new world and the new legal outlook. I claim, a new profession will emerge, e.g. (Legal Engineer). The function of a legal engineer may be somewhat similar to the current legal practitioner. Engineering in general is a system, art and profession that applies scientific theories to design, develops and analyzes technical solutions. Here we will add the term (legal) so that it matches the science and the desired development of this profession, which may make the legal engineer the person who is able to research legal systems and programs, and feeds appropriate data into the legal electronic system, which will expand and search in all existing laws and legislations needed for these regulations, in an overall aim to increase access to justice. Perhaps this profession will contribute to the reformulation of the legislative system worldwide; through the unification of laws and publication of global legislations on equal grounds. This profession will be focusing on research and investigation and concluding legal provisions and rules appropriate to the cases filed. It is rather a delicate task with large and ramified legal dimensions. A while ago (Lawyer Ross) appeared as an artificial intelligence software, which uses a supercomputing system by "IBM", who might search for and unfold an unknown court ruling rendered twenty years ago, to surprise any attorney. Ross - not only researches rulings and unfolds details but at the same time does the job without any complaints or negative competition. It will give you legal opinions related to this ruling, its relationship to the current issue, and the importance of relying on it in the course of the current case, in a clear, understandable and smooth language. It would not be enough to say that there are legal applications that are currently used in some countries that produce results and consultations on multiple legal issues, and may save clients recourse to a legal specialist in the concerned field. Because those applications must undergo people specializing in different legal fields, to fill in legal content, apply correct data, and introduce updates and developments in the systems and programs, that will introduce technologies into the legal world - a developed, renewable and vibrant world, legislators in all countries of the world tend to update and replace existing laws to keep pace with changes and developments as everything in societies changes in social, cultural and intellectual domains. What is prohibited today, may become permissible tomorrow, and likewise what laws permit today, the same laws may prohibit later. Thus, the legal profession is not a dispensable profession, and it does not come with an expiry date as long as the universe is alive and breathing.

What research, states, groups, and individuals offer in the world of progress is a product of that intellectual and epistemological accumulation over centuries of time where man has endeavored to arrive at accurate scientific results in all fields. All such theories remain disputable and inaccurate should we know that as science progressed, it revealed new knowledge that might conflict and collide with previous constants that some believed were taken for granted without lending it the slightest scrutiny, examination or objection. Therefore, we must not take what I presented here as a valid future outlook, but rather it is purely expectations that may be proven true or false. It will always remain as theatrical as it sounds since I have tried as much as possible to shed some light on the sidewalks of the law that will remain attached to everything new in the world. We owe it to ourselves and others to study how law would be impacted by everything since everything in this universe follows its own law.


The pressing question that arises strongly now, will these laws be able to keep pace with the rapid momentum of change, which the world will witness alongside the fourth industrial revolution? Can artificial intelligence compete with the human brain and intellect equipped with the spirit of law and fairness more than its provisions?

Let us leave the answer to these questions to the scientific and legal reader's imagination. Perhaps there will be future studies, research and articles that answer all the questions raised in this regard. Therefore, we remain.

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