Digital Legal Lab

human autonomy
in a data-driven society

What is the role of human autonomy in an era of machine autonomy and data-driven decision-making? 

To answer this question, researchers affiliated with the Digital Legal Lab focus on the legal and ethical meaning of human autonomy in judicial systems pervaded by AI technologies.

The starting point of this research project is that AI applications are not neutral instruments, but have a fundamental impact on what it means to be human. As data-driven decision-making tools increasingly are designed to act and even pro-actively intervene in seemingly autonomous ways – without any human beings in the loop – this immediately evokes the fear that ‘these technologies will take over’ and diminish human autonomy and discretion.

Our research examines and re-evaluates human autonomy in the data-driven regulatory paradigm. Rather than framing AI as an unstoppable force that will dominate and overrule human autonomy, we investigate the possibility of understanding human autonomy as inherently relational and connected to AI.