Machines are now not just building things in factories; they are designing and building infrastructure. They are given a problem and programmed to solve it i.e. design and build a solution; and it's not just 3D printing, other disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, immersive technologies and real-time data are also changing the game.

Data is the new gold and the battleground for this emerging technology is going to be in the intellectual property that lies behind. But whom is going to be liable when something goes wrong? The manufacturer of the kit, the designer of the kit, the computer programmer responsible for the all-important algorithms or the design professional implementing the technology in a project? If for example the design is negligent, will somebody ask whether the robot had fallen below the standard of a reasonably competent machine? That seems far-fetched. 

Design professionals therefore need to be extremely careful that they know exactly what responsibility they are taking on under their contracts. Simply relying on the specialist input from others is unlikely to be a good defence as the law currently stands.

We at Foot Anstey are keen in getting stuck in and we look forward to hearing from those interested in this exciting field.