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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Robots As Electronic Persons

EU Proposal Would Classify Robots As 'Electronic Persons'

Parliamentary motion aims to create a legal framework for automation, amid concerns over unemployment and social security

Amar Toor | June 22, 2016

A new proposal from the European Parliament calls for working robots to be classified as "electronic persons," and for their owners to pay social security on their behalf. The draft motion, published online this month, aims to address the new challenges that Europe's robotic workforce will present as robot technology becomes more pervasive and intelligent. The proposal says growing automation will require new frameworks for taxation and legal liability, but as Reuters reports, it faces opposition from some robotics companies.

From the draft: "whereas, thanks to the impressive technological advances of the last decade, not only are today's robots able to perform activities which used to be typically and exclusively human, but the development of autonomous and cognitive features – e.g. the ability to learn from experience and take independent decisions – has made them more and more similar to agents that interact with their environment and are able to alter it significantly; whereas, in such a context, the legal responsibility arising from a robot’s harmful action becomes a crucial issue..." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Europe's robots to become 'electronic persons' under draft plan. June 21, 2016) and (Mady Delvaux: "Robotics will bring about a revolution". April 22, 2015); further: (Fear of robots as “electronic persons” in Europe wildly exaggerated. If robots become self-aware, however, then whole thing needs a reboot, says MEP. June 22, 2016>

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