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Law in an Era of “Smart” Technology$
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Susan W. Brenner

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333480.001.0001

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Law and Machine Technology

Law and Machine Technology

(p.25) CHAPTER 4 Law and Machine Technology
Law in an Era of “Smart” Technology

Susan W. Brenner

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the evolution of machine technologies. They replace human effort with artificial, machine effort and let humans accomplish things that were not possible before. It traces the utilization of “use” rules to control the defective implementation of these technologies; it uses bicycle technology to illustrate how societies simply relied on an ad hoc extrapolation of the approach they utilized for specialist technologies to control the defective implementation of a non-specialist technology. The chapter demonstrates how societies and lawmakers came to focus primarily on technology in devising rules that were intended to prevent harms that might ensue from the introduction of new technologies.

Keywords:   machines, industrialization, railroad, bicycle, electricity, telegraph, printing, typewriter, photography

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