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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

European experts against the creation of a legal status for robots

With artificial intelligence applications developing and being rolled out fast, the European Commission is currently working on the development of a new area of the law focused on robotics. This could go as far as including the creation of a specific legal status for robots. However, hundreds of members of civil society are opposed to the creation of an "electronic person" which could make an "intelligent" machine independently responsible for damages.

Two hundred European experts have recently co-signed an open letter against the creation of a legal status for robots. This letter, addressed to the European Commission, highlights the concern and opposition of AI experts on the creation of a legal electronic person and focuses specifically on the European Parliament Resolution on Civil law rules of robotics and its recommendation to the European Commission in its paragraph 59 f): "Creating a specific legal status for robots in the long run, so that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons responsible for making good any damage they may cause, and possibly applying electronic personality to cases where robots make autonomous decisions or otherwise interact with third parties independently (...)."
The signatories of this open letter criticize the notion of electronic personality, whether based on the notion of natural persons, legal entities or legal trust. 

We will keep following the discussions around the development of the law on robotics...

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(1) Robotics-openletter.eu, Open letter to the European Commission – Artificial intelligence and Robotics


Deleporte Wentz Avocat

April 2018

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