EU Seeks to Regulate the Use of Robots

EU Seeks to Regulate the Use of Robots

The European Parliament is seeking to pass legislation that will see the development of very strict rules to regulate the use of robots and AI; it has been reported.

The legal affairs committee of the European Parliament earlier in the week voted in a comprehensive draft report that, if adopted by the EU member states, will be used to develop a legal framework that will be used to regulate the use of robots within different settings. The report was adopted after a voting session, with 17 members voting for the adoption of the report while only two abstaining from the vote.

Mady Delvaux, a member of the parliament representing Luxembourg, said that it is high time that the EU develops a comprehensive legal framework that can be used to regulate the manner in which humans use robots and AI in general.

‘Given that our lives are increasingly being affected by robots, it is necessary that we have in place a comprehensive framework to regulate the entire process,’ she said.

According to the report, the purpose of the legislation is to create legal provisions to regulate the use of robots that are currently on the market or those that are to be introduced on the market shortly.

The main aim of the regulation is to give robots a legal status akin to that enjoyed by companies, the report further says.

In nearly all jurisdictions currently, companies enjoy a form of legal status in that they can sue as well as be sued. Similarly, if the new report is fully implemented and the recommended regulations developed, robots will enjoy the form of a legal status similar to that enjoyed by corporations. It will be possible to sue or get sued by robots if the regulatory framework is developed and adopted.

‘Our interest now is to develop legislation that gives robots a form or legal status similar to that of corporations for now,’ Mady adds.

But other observers are of the opinion that the proposed regulations may turn out to be highly controversial. Ashley Morgan, a leading attorney at Osborne Clarke, a law firm, says that the newly proposed regulations would end up giving human rights privileges to robots, much to the chagrin of the companies that create the robots.

‘Many of the companies that create robots will be uncomfortable with the new regulations,’ he said.

One of the main controversial issues in the proposed regulations is how to manage patent rights between the companies that create robots and the robots that shall be enjoying a form of legal status.

It appears that many observers are concerned with how the companies that create robots will have to forego patent rights of new creations made by their robots since the proposed regulations will dictate that the rights belong to the robots.

The fate of the report will be determined in February when the full house of the EU parliament votes on it.