Stanford scholars are considering the legal implications of using robots – with issues extending beyond personal injury and property damage to criminal and civil rights. “They already detect and defuse bombs, control traffic patterns and do some basic household chores. And scientists predict that pretty soon, robots will be using artificial intelligence to play a larger role on the battlefield, operate our vehicles and take care of us in old age. But who will be to blame if a robot-controlled weapon kills a civilian? Who can be sued if one of those new cars takes an unexpected turn into a crowd of pedestrians? And who is liable if the robot you programmed to bathe your elderly mother drowns her in the tub? As mechanical engineers and computer scientists at Stanford develop technology that will transform the stuff of science fiction into everyday machinery, scholars at the Law School are thinking about the legal challenges that will arise.”