Direction is Much More Important Than Speed (Part III — Experimental Proposal for Peace)

Direction is Much More Important Than Speed (Part III — Experimental Proposal for Peace)
Photo: 13.05.2024 290

We publish the final part of a series of articles by Gian Marco Solas, EU qualified Lawyer and Leading Expert at the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre, on the intersection of competition law, AI and sustainable development. "This is a comment about the European Union AI policy within the sustainability realm, the renewed idea of a perpetual motion machine or the best of all possible worlds and an experimental proposal for peace," states the author. The first part of the series focused on the most relevant provisions of the EU AI Act. The second part examined the EU AI Act in the context of the renewed idea of a perpetual motion machine as a complex science approach to policy and legal matters. The third part presents an “experimental proposal for peace”.

Part III – Experimental Proposal for Peace (PDF)

A “Cooperative Competitive Game” to consciously transform entropy into valuable assets

The natural and legal directions analyzed in the previous Part and the possibility to adopt the experimental approach also in social sciences suggest making a proposal for the possible resolution of the current state of “socio-environmental entropy”. The idea is to launch a “Cooperative Competitive Game” aimed at creatively and consciously transforming natural entropy into valuable assets in legal ecosystems. A game guided by lawyers and other professionals and authorities to solve conflicts legally and valorize the nature and humans, and potentially allow the “true” usage of AI and other technologies.

1. AI Vs & Blockchain. Smart contracts and legal claims

One of the main questions raised by the AI Act relates to the absence of a reference to the other groundbreaking novel technology, that is blockchain, a distributed ledger with growing lists of records (blocks) that are securely linked together via cryptographic hashes. Because of its “enchained” structure, blockchain transactions become irreversible to the extent that, once recorded in the “chain”, the data in each block cannot be altered without altering other blocks. The technology as such improves legal certainty and has already shown multiple interesting use cases where the “standard” application of human law did not suffice. For instance, to certify the property (and facilitate the circulation) of movable assets, or in the issuing of more or less famous cryptocurrencies. In fact, the benefits of such technology from a legal perspective is already recognized by the public, and it is often referred to as “smart contracts”. Unlike any other (paper or digital) contracts, blockchain - under some conditions - not only guarantees much more legal certainty, but also allows the contract to be entered into much more efficiently while “measuring” the transactions and their effects in reality. This appears positive not just to support the empirical approach to legal sciences, but also to solve recurrent business problems. For instance, in supply chains or in construction works, potentially minimizing disruptions and litigation risks. If we recall the main function of AI, to intelligently connect information in the past and generate improved outputs, and its capability to potentially reproduce human made law more effectively and efficiently, the “winning match” with blockchain appears natural. In fact, it has already been widely recognized that the two work better together (1). Much of the criticisms to the blockchain moreover come from its “crypto” (read, hidden) applications, that AI could cure. For instance, by better predicting legal risk and facilitating meritorious legal claims against any wrongdoer in the past, whereby the blockchain as we said could minimize legal risks ex ante for the future.  

2. Modeling legal ecosystems with a complex and life sciences approach

The possibility to better enforce the law in relation to past events and to mitigate risks for the future, particularly after the proposal of the perpetual machine model, recalls the romantic idea of a potentially just world. Not a utopic world, an Eldorado or an hyperuranion but rather “simply” what may already be a “terrestrial Paradise” if humans did not cause further entropy and / or if they would just engage in constant work of transformation of entropy. In other words, one inspired by the third principle of thermodynamics, where entropy can approach a constant and measurable state and in parallel the “temperature would reduce”. This hypothesis would require modelling legal systems for the identification and constant or anyway cyclical transformation of natural entropy into new life, work and biological cycles. In fact, this per se introduces to several innovations in academic, policy making and legal practice. From an academic perspective, certainly to the idea that the concept of entropy can be extended to any “natural entropy” including currently “abandoned” or “wasted” humans, and of course natural assets and animals. That means experimentally identifying in reality any the end of a previous (life or work) cycle: from the abandoned building following the closure of a small business to the abandoned land following the abandonment of agriculture to groups of employees fired following the merger of their company with another and so on. From a policy making and legal practice perspective, to act not just with law but also with or according to universal love, that means to rationally and legally allocate human and natural assets in a way that the “win-win-win” outcome and equilibrium can be achieved in local ecosystems and potentially more in general.   

3. Every party can win by being the best historical version of itself. Codification of the law

The legal and mathematical argumentations expressed in the previous paragraphs suggest considering a rational bet where every party can potentially win. That is to opt and act for the optimistic direction of life, shifting the resolution of existing existential conflicts to legal means and due process. A “legal competition” where parties would strive to bring the best of their legal culture to the table, agree to solve conflicts legally and be able to build sustainable societies with the support of the most modern technologies. The idea per se projects a “win-win-win” scenario, as the effort needed for this enterprise could legally divert the “entropic energy” currently warming our planet to supporting conflict resolution processes and therefore enhance the enforcement of the existing law(s). As history teaches that humanity can grow in moments of crisis, the opportunity to build on the Treaty of Paris (the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community) and all other international treaties to solve fratricide conflicts and prevent war, appears quite appealing. That de facto would be nothing new for almost anyone as it would resemble a contemporary version of the well-known codifications of the law in civil law jurisdictions worldwide. 

Historically, codifications of the law have often been proposed to make order after periods of social chaos: from the Constitution of Solon to the Iustinianus codification, to the Napoleonic codification(s) in civil law jurisdictions (including the influence of the German Pandectist School) to all Charters on human rights or constitutions. This historical trend suggests that codifications were not only successfully used to build ordered systems, but also that they made the law and (therefore) the economy progressively more accessible and increasing proportionally the level of civilization. In fact, the technology available at the time of each codification (for instance, from artisanal made paper to mass printing to computers etc.) had an increasing but proportionate role in the diffusion of legal science, and therefore in the accessibility of the economy. In our context and with our groundbreaking technologies, a codification of natural law could therefore consist of a democratic and participative historical, biological and legal analysis, classification, and valorization (through regeneration and better legal use or sharing) of any natural asset, private or public. It could be extended both ratione materiae, to include agreements on all materials for mass destruction (uranium, hydrogen, etc.), and ratione personae, for instance having the United Nations responsible for coordinating the “universal” legal effort. In so doing, to provide a universal legal and technological framework that sovereign states and communities could enforce ratione loci and ratione temporis (sui). In such case, as the codified law has by now covered over 80-90 % of Earth’s jurisdictions, this additional effort could finally allow every jurisdiction in the world to reach an at least decent level of legal civilization. Ideally this codification could leverage on modern technologies to interrelate contiguous and distant legal systems that could learn from each other not just to preserve the natural system but also to enhance it through human intervention and creativity. This includes the potential valorization of the unicity of any natural asset and its potential use as physical currency linked to and incentivizing the constant work of transformation of entropy. The representation of this codification could look like a legal social board or video “game” to regenerate and manage local or bigger ecosystems, giving everyone the right and incentives to participate, build and own a fraction of the best of all possible worlds. As the rule of law alone does not appear to suffice for such ambitious plan, the time may be ripe to also include the rule of neighbor and potentially universal love into the equation.

(1) From the IBM Website,

digital markets  AI  sustainability 

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