Due to the impending threat of robots ravaging humans, the European parliament has urged to give robots a legal status. The proposed drafting focuses on a set of regulations to control the use and creation of robots and artificial intelligence. It also includes a form of “electronic personhood” to guarantee rights and responsibilities for the most capable AI.
Robots to be given ‘personhood’
The parliament’s legal affairs committee passed the report, outlining possible framework for regulation. The decision came after a 17-2 vote, with two abstentions.
“A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics,” said Luxembourgish MEP Mady Delvaux, the report’s author. “In order to address this reality and to ensure that robots are and will remain in the service of humans, we urgently need to create a robust European legal framework.”
The proffered legal statuses for robots would allow firms to take part in legal cases as both plaintiff and respondent. “It is similar to what we now have for companies, but it is not for tomorrow,” said Delvaux.
The 22-paged report laid out a number of areas in need of specific regulations from the EU. This includes the following (taken from the report):
‘A code of conduct for robotics engineers, of a code for research ethics committees, when reviewing robotics protocols, and of model licenses for designers and users; the creation of a European Agency for robotics and artificial intelligence; a common definition of “smart autonomous robots”; an obligatory insurance scheme, which could be based on the obligation of the producer to take out insurance for the autonomous robots it produces, should be established.”
The reports also touched upon the future of autonomous vehicles. It argued that the breakthrough of self-driving cars are “in most urgent need of European and global rules.” Also, it went on to say, “Fragmented regulatory approaches would hinder implementation and jeopardize European competitiveness.”
Robots As Threats To Humans’ Employment
The thought of overly competitive robots could result to large-scale unemployment, which was also discussed in the report. That being said, it asked for “serious” examination of the public’s general basic income as one possible solution.