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Assessing responsibility and liability for developers

When consumers invest in a product, they are relying on it to function as advertised. Additionally, they are counting on the company who makes the product to deliver thorough and honest information about how the product works, what it is used for and how it should be maintained. As a result, they expect the outcome to be as the seller describes and to not suffer any serious malfunctions. While many California companies are careful to complete thorough product testing and analysis before launching, there are times when defects can cause inconvenience or in serious cases, injuries to unsuspecting consumers. 

An interesting concept that has been discussed in recent months is just how responsible software developers should be when they recommend a product that turns out to be defective later on. The concept is called “AI-Facilitated shopping” which refers to algorithms that have been created to recommend products to online shoppers based off of previous purchases they have made or interest they have shown in other products. 

The liability in question stems from incidents where consumers purchase a product that has been recommended to them via an online algorithm only to discover later on that it is defective. If this defect causes an injury, does the liability reside with the company that created the product or with the developer who recommended the product? Supporters of both sides have varying arguments as to why the other should maintain responsibility. 

If people have been injured because of a defective product, they may wish to contact an attorney. Working with a legal professional may help them to have a better chance at getting the compensation they deserve because of injuries received from the product defects. 

Source: The National Law Review, “Product Liability Risks AI-Facilitated Shopping,” Aug. 31, 2018

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