Proposal to grant AI ‘human rights’ to be presented in EU parliament

"What we need now is to create a legal framework for the robots that are currently on the market or will become available over the next 10 to 15 years."

China’s first advanced interactive robot, Jia Jia with life-like facial features. (Source: AAP)

Robots could soon be granted human rights after a push for artificial intelligence machines to be granted “electronic personhood” status.

The European parliament will draft a set or regulations for the use and creation of artificial intelligence, which is expected to gain a foothold in the near future, The Guardian reports.

The report – passed in the parliament 17-2 votes with two abstentions – was penned by Luxembourgish MEP, Mady Delvaux, in hopes of devising a legal framework to provide “electronic personhood” to AI and robots.

“A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics,” Delvaux said. “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.

“What we need now is to create a legal framework for the robots that are currently on the market or will become available over the next 10 to 15 years.”

The proposed framework with not only cover robots but also the engineers that build the machines and self-driving vehicles.

Lawyer Ashley Morgan from Osborne Clarke said any law that essentially grants “human rights” to machines will be controversial for many people.

“If I create a robot, and that robot creates something that could be patented, should I own that patent or should the robot?” Morgan asked.

“If I sell the robot, should the intellectual property it has developed go with it? These are not easy questions to answer.”

The draft proposal will be voted on in February.



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