Hybrid theory of corporate legal personhood and its application to artificial intelligence

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is often compared to corporations in legal studies when discussing AI legal personhood. This article also uses this analogy between AI and companies to study AI legal personhood but contributes to the discussion by utilizing the hybrid model of corporate legal personhood. The hybrid model simultaneously applies the real entity, aggregate entity, and artificial entity models. This article adopts a legalistic position, in which anything can be a legal person. However, there might be strong pragmatic reasons not to confer legal personhood on non-human entities. The article recognizes that artificial intelligence is autonomous by definition and has greater de facto autonomy than corporations and, consequently, greater potential for de jure autonomy. Therefore, AI has a strong attribute to be a real entity. Nevertheless, the article argues that AI has key characteristics from the aggregate entity and artificial entity models. Therefore, the hybrid entity model is more applicable to AI legal personhood than any single model alone. The discussion recognises that AI might be too autonomous for legal personhood. Still, it concludes that the hybrid model is a useful analytical framework as it incorporates legal persons with different levels of de jure and de facto autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number78
JournalSN Social Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Law-making
  • Regulation
  • Legal personhood
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • robots and autonomous systems
  • automated decision-making

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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