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Robots should be given a “personhood” status

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Are robots becoming a reality?

The European Parliament has urged the drafting of a new set of regulations to help govern the use of robots and artificial intelligence (AI).

This includes a form of “electronic personhood” so that the most capable of AI has rights and responsibilities.

The parliament’s legal affairs committee passed the report in a 17-2 vote.

Luxembourgish MEP Mady Delvaux, the report’s author, told the Guardian: “A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics,”

“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 report points out a number of areas which need to be looked at by the European Union, this includes:

  • The creation of a European agency for robotics and AI.
  • A legal definition of “smart autonomous robots”, with a system of registration of the most advanced of them.
  • An advisory code of conduct for robotics engineers aimed at guiding the ethical design, production and use of robots.
  • A new reporting structure for companies requiring them to report the contribution of robotics and AI to the economic results of a company for the purpose of taxation and social security contributions.
  • A new mandatory insurance scheme for companies to cover damage caused by their robots.

The full house of the European Parliament will vote on the new proposals in February, it must be approved by an absolute majority.




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