The Concept of Culpability in Criminal Law and AI Systems

  •  Roman Dremliuga    
  •  Natalia Prisekina    


This article focuses on the problems of the application of AI as a tool of crime from the perspective of the norms and principles of Criminal law. The article discusses the question of how the legal framework in the area of culpability determination could be applied to offenses committed with the use of AI. The article presents an analysis of the current state in the sphere of criminal law for both intentional and negligent offenses as well as a comparative analysis of these two forms of culpability.

Part of the work is devoted to culpability in intentional crimes. Results of analysis in the paper demonstrate that the law-enforcer and the legislator should reconsider the approach to determining culpability in the case of the application of artificial intelligence systems for committing intentional crimes. As an artificial intelligence system, in some sense, has its own designed cognition and will, courts could not rely on the traditional concept of culpability in intentional crimes, where the intent is clearly determined in accordance with the actions of the criminal.

Criminal negligence is reviewed in the article from the perspective of a developer’s criminal liability. The developer is considered as a person who may influence on and anticipate harm caused by AI system that he/she created. If product developers are free from any form of criminal liability for harm caused by their products, it would lead to highly negative social consequences. The situation when a person developing AI system has to take into consideration all potential harm caused by the product also has negative social consequences. The authors conclude that the balance between these two extremums should be found. The authors conclude that the current legal framework does not conform to the goal of a culpability determination for the crime where AI is a tool.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.