"I, Contract": Evaluating the Mistake Doctrine's Application Where Autonomous Smart Contracts Make "Bad" Decisions
Autonomous smart contracts and the blockchain are flagship technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. They are already in commercial use and uptake will undoubtedly increase as their many cost and efficiency benefits are realized. Already, advanced applications of smart contracts that integrate Artificial Intelligence are being developed at a feverish pace. The prospect of smart contracts being vested with the coded capacity to autonomously make “decisions” for their human parties is both exciting and unnerving. The obvious legal question that arises is whether the parties can plead the doctrine of mistake if the smart contract makes a decision that is unintended, irrational (in the sense that no rational human actor would have made the same decision through the organically intuitive human decision-making process), and undesirable. This Article addresses this novel question under American and Anglo-Australian contract law, ultimately concluding that in most cases the mistake doctrine likely will not avail aggrieved parties when a smart con-tract makes a “bad” decision.
Dr. Mark Giancaspro, "I, Contract": Evaluating the Mistake Doctrine's Application Where Autonomous Smart Contracts Make "Bad" Decisions, 45 Campbell L. Rev. 53 (2022).