The algorithms will force us to respect the rules: here are the characteristics of the law of the future


In his 2008 book Future Politics, Jamie Susskind defines digital law stating, “there is no law prohibiting infringements: there is only one law, in the form of a code, which directs digital systems to apply certain sanctions in certain circumstances to those who commit a violation.”


Digital law, says Susskind, differs from traditional law on three points:

  1. It is a law that self-applies and does not require traditional law enforcement.
  2. Real time application obliges citizens not to break the law.
  3. It is adaptive; it changes in relation to the external environment.


Under digital law, parking in no parking zones or exceeding speed limits will become practically impossible. AI systems incorporated into cars will prevent drivers from exceeding the allowed limits and from parking in illegal areas.


With the possibility of digital law, instead of having static speed limits, limits are set in real time according to the traffic conditions and driver history. If the weather is clear and there is no traffic, cars will be able to move faster. A driver who has never had an accident will be able to travel at a faster speed than one who has caused many.


Laws are made up of rules and standards. While the rules are strict (it is not possible to exceed 130Km/h), the standards are gray areas (drive carefully if it is foggy) within which it is up to the person to decide how to behave.


Until the development of artificial intelligence, it was thought that the rigidity of law could only be applied to rules and not to standards. Today, however, says Jamie Susskind, we have artificial intelligence available to advise us on the best possible behavior under certain conditions. Law in the future is self-applying and will be able to adapt to the external environment.