The Growing Need for Automation Laws

Automation Laws

As the rapid developments in computing and robotics including artificial intelligence have introduced automation in all walks of industry, the opportunities to introduce automation in society have increased manifold. The rapid automation of industry whether tech or other means that much of the worker’s manual labor will be taken over by software appliances with limited human intervention. Though it all sounds very exciting, it also brings challenges to the prevalent laws and policies regarding their ability to cater to the potential threats the innovations may bring.

With the advent of automation, the game will move out of the scope of factories and control rooms, making the current legal approach obsolete. It is becoming ever more important to revise the existing laws and enable them to bring the increasingly automated environment within their ambit.

Automated decision-making has transformed the way companies operate by providing less manual intervention and more mechanized laboring. Decisions lie at the heart of this digital revolution by using input data and business rules engine to come to operational decisions. These operational decisions need to be within the ambit of the law, making the whole operation compliant with the applicable injunctions to avoid any potential complications.

Making Decision Automatically: Ironies

As businesses collect more information about their customers’ preferences, decision engine help them form more meaningful relationships with customers by providing highly-relevant products or services. The whole purpose here is to promote the human experience and values by utilizing the capabilities of automation. However, without adequate laws, it has been found that automation has contrastively equal chances of endangering that very experience and protection of human values.

For instance, a travel booking site can deploy a decision engine on its website to show attractive and relevant destinations to each website visitor. But there should be a check on whether it is showing content in the customer’s interest or the website’s interest without any regard for the customer’s wellbeing.

While making the decisions automatically, the neglect of the sociological aspect of technical automation may result in invoking the law. Now if the law is not capable of judging whether automation has damaged the social fabric or not, how is it possible to keep society safe? In such a scenario, automation may prove a bane rather than a boon.

Automated Decision Engines Across Industries are Quite Beneficial

Companies in different industries use decision engines to reduce operational costs and implement best practices while also enhancing the customer experience. The automation models have the capacity to transform the entire experience while increasing the productivity manifold.


Airlines use decision engines to make the pricing and purchasing process as seamless as possible.

For example, automated decision-making programs can create prices using data on seat availability and the day of the flight.


Financial institutions and fintech rely on decision engines to fast-track repetitive and time-consuming processes such as loan applications. Also, decision engines can spot potentially fraudulent transactions as described by the financial laws.


Insurance providers use decision engines to immediately create quotes for potential customers who include their information online. Insurance laws provide the basis for these decision engines.


Decision engines can be configured to recommend tailor-made treatments to patients.

The Way Forward

Decision engines allow organizations to strike the right balance between human intervention and automation. Automated decision-making still needs the expertise of users to create, update, and approve decisions. As though automated, decision-making still requires a human hand in ascertaining the parameters.

To streamline operational decisions, businesses need to decide which tasks require automation and which ones require the expertise of a subject-matter expert. There may be some complications of subjective nature that are best undertaken by an expert on the subject matter.

The need is to promote an ethical and accountable automation model and its implementation according to the core human values. To ensure ethical integration without violating human privacy and other core values, the legal treatment of automation needs to be revised. Such laws are to be introduced that encircle the growing scope of automation while introducing ethical and sociotechnical approaches to ensure fair automation in the industry.