“Robots? We don’t serve their kind here!”

❝ For the time being, robots don’t need civil rights — they have a hard enough time walking, let alone marching — but the European Union doesn’t expect that to be the case forever. The European Parliament’s committee on legal affairs is considering a draft report, written by Luxembourg member Mady Delvaux, that would give legal status to “electronic persons.”

❝ Delvaux’s report explores the growing prevalence of autonomous machines in our daily lives, as well as who should be responsible for their actions. It’s not intended to be a science-fiction thought experiment…but rather an outline of what the European Commission should establish: what robots are, legally; the ethics of building them; and the liability of the companies that do so.

“Robots are not humans, and will never be humans,” Delvaux said. But she is recommending that they have a degree of personhood — much in the same way that corporations are legally regarded as persons — so that companies can be held accountable for the machines they create, and whatever actions those machines take on their own.

Robots can donate to Super-PACs!

❝ Delvaux’s report does suggest that the more autonomy a machine has, the more blame should fall with it over its human operators. But robots are generally only as smart as the data they learn from. It might be difficult to determine what a robot is responsible for, and what was because of its programming — a sort of robot version of the “nature versus nurture” argument.

Nice to see that some political beings, public political forums, have the foresight to consider potential problems before they arise. Of course, that can be taken to extremes.

But, in the United States? We’re lucky if Congress considers, say, flood protection before rising waters reach the top step.

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One thought on ““Robots? We don’t serve their kind here!”

  1. Roomba says:

    “The best candidate for the office of president of the United States wasn’t on the ballot last November. It was Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing engine. Watson would be a president of intelligence and integrity, temperament and dedication, working round the clock to devise solutions to our toughest domestic and international challenges. In stark contrast to any human leader, Watson is a not a political animal or stylish personality, rather he is a policy machine made of pure substance. For a brief flicker in early 2016, a private foundation not affiliated with IBM actually launched an online campaign advocating “Watson for President”—too bad it wasn’t taken seriously.” https://qz.com/876008/why-watson-should-have-run-for-us-president-smart-algorithms-are-better-than-dumb-politicians/ See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf7IEVTDjng more info @ http://www.BostonDynamics.com

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