More and more sectors are affected by robotics and numerous companies announced they are already replacing humans with robots.
Under these circumstances, the European Parliament Committee of Legal Affairs proposed robots be treated legally as people, even though it also recommend the inclusion of kill switches in automated systems.
Robot sales have increased about 17% annually between 2010 and 2014. Then, the next year the rate rose to 29%, thanks to automotive parts suppliers and the electronics industry.’
Moreover, in the last decade the robot-oriented patent filing have tripled.
The committee is calling for an EU agency to oversee robotics and artificial intelligence and for the adoption of a voluntary ethical code governing who will be accountable for the social, health, and environmental impact of robots.
Self-driving cars represent an area of specific concern. In order to deal with potential costs of accidents involving driver-less vehicles, the makers should cover the damages through an obligatory insurance scheme.