Robots are taking over the world. We all know it. Some members of the European Parliament know it too. That’s why robots in the EU may soon be classed as “electronic persons” if the Parliament adopts a new set of rules on the technology. It’s true. The government is talking about robots and their rights.
The drafted motion would mean that robots had “specific rights and obligations,” and that robot owners have to pay social security for any robot they own. This is a reaction to the fact that robots are taking more and more human jobs, which is leading to increased unemployment. The owner would also be responsible for paying specialized taxes and being held accountable for legal liabilities. Wow. A robot tax. That will keep them in check so they don’t take over the world for a while. Not a bad idea.
It gets better. The motion even broaches the subject of the destruction of mankind:
“Ultimately there is a possibility that within the space of some decades AI might surpass human intellectual capacity in a manner which, if not prepared for, could pose a challenge to humanity’s capacity to control its own creation and consequently perhaps also to its capacity to be in charge of its own destiny and to ensure the survival of its species …”
It’s about time these politicians took the robot apocalypse seriously. These are serious issues. Don’t get too excited yet though. This motion still has to pass several hurdles.