Can Artificial Intelligence Beget A Corporation?
Friday, May 12, 2023
California Law does not define AI

What if artificial intelligence takes control, could it begin to populate the world with corporations that it has begotten?  To answer this question, one must define "artificial intelligence".   Although several current California statutes refer to "artificial intelligence", I am not aware of any California statute that defines the term.  In fact, Senator Josh Becker has introduced a bill to create the California Interagency AI Working Group.  One of the duties of that group would be to develop a definition of "artificial intelligence".  

In the absence of a statutory definition, I consider "artificial intelligence" to describe the ability of technology to mimic human cognition and behavior.  Defined in this way, "artificial intelligence" would not constitute a lawful incorporator under the California General Corporation Law.  Section 200(a) provides that "one or more natural persons, partnerships, association or corporations, domestic or foreign, may form a corporation . . . by executing and filing articles of incorporation."   

Readers familiar with the Nicene Creed will recognize the phrase " begotten not made".   C.S. Lewis explained the difference between begetting and making in Mere Christianity:

A man begets human babies, a beaver begets little beavers and a bird begets eggs which turn into little birds. But when you make, you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, a man makes a wireless set—or he may make something more like himself than a wireless set: say, a statue. If he is a clever enough carver he may make a statue which is very like a man indeed. But, of course, it is not a real man; it only looks like one. It cannot breathe or think. It is not alive.

Applying this understanding of "begotten" and "made", a human incorporator would make a corporation but a corporate incorporator would beget a corporation.

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