1. “Are data subjects investors?” In 1932, in their The Modern Corporation and Private Property, Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means discussed why the management owes fiduciary duties to shareholders. As data subjects do not directly manage firms’ data, there is a problem of accountability of how to ensure that the management use the personal data in the interests of data subjects. As societies have addressed the agency problem for shareholders by granting them a set of shareholder rights, it is time to consider granting suitable rights, if any, to data subjects. This is a paper that critically explores the rightful status of data subjects in the era of data capitalism. We aim to alter the way Corporate America see and treat data subjects by challenging conventional views. It is maintained that data subjects are entitled to claiming that they are investors. In particular, we argue that data subjects' contribution to a firm often meet major objective conditions to be (data) investors as shareholders do meet the conditions to be financial investors. It is time to treat data subjects as data investors.
2. "Redefining autonomous agents" (Collaborating with John Hooker). Researchers, companies, and governmental bodies are racing to developing more autonomous machines such as self-driving vehicles, robot caregivers and autonomous weapons. But majorities of Americans are worried about emerging autonomous technologies (Smith and Anderson 2017). The concern is, perhaps, groundless, given that using autonomous vehicles, for instance, will decrease the total amount of accidents. Yet, the public reaction is not entirely unreasonable. The dominant notion of autonomous agent (e.g., Franklin and Graesser 1996), is the very reason for the concern, we argue. According to the definition, autonomous machines are agents that can make a decision independently of exogenous forces (e.g., human intervention). It follows, as a logical matter, that autonomous machines can make a decision inconsistently with humans’ interests. The dominant model, once fully realized, would be dangerous. It would be so because the model is indifferent to rationality, we explain. We offer a rationality-responsive notion of autonomous agents, by which single autonomous agent systems are simultaneously understood as multiagents systems.