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Re: <nettime> If you talk to bots, you're talking to their bosses
morlockelloi on Sat, 28 May 2016 10:54:11 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> If you talk to bots, you're talking to their bosses

There is a persistent mythology emerging from the Bitcoin worshipers, that machines running smart contracts can be 'independent legal entities'.

I have heard it multiple times at various public occasions: someone has set up a machine as a legal entity, with hands-off approach after programming, and that machine is running transactions on its own, while the owner (now just a shareholder) has legally nothing to do with it, shielded from its actions through the act of incorporation.

This is of course silly, for the time being. But these people (assorted co-founders, cube slaves and marketeers from BC-centric startups) appear to really believe it, or at least say so.

The notion that machines are people is taking hold (not so new - "but the computer says so" justification is at least 20 years old.) How long will this be silly remains to be seen. The step from 'corporations are people' to 'machines are people' might be a small one.

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