Artificial intelligence and robotics: the European Union must set a precise framework

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FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE - 157 experts from 14 countries of the European Union sign an open letter to the European Commission asking for an innovative and reliable legal framework on the development of artificial intelligence and robotics.

Find the complete list of signatories:

We, experts in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, industry leaders, lawyers, ethicists, and health professionals, say that the creation of European rules of law for robotics and artificial intelligence is relevant to guarantee a high level of security for citizens of the European Union while promoting innovation. As the interactions between humans and robots become more and more widespread, the European Union must provide the appropriate framework to reinforce the values ​​of democracy and the European Union. Indeed, the legal framework of artificial intelligence and robotics must be explored not only by economic and legal aspects, but also by its societal, psychological and ethical impacts. In this context, we are concerned by the European Parliament Resolution on Civil Law Rules on Robotics and its recommendation to the European Commission in paragraph 59 (f):

"The creation, over time, of a legal personality specific to robots, so that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots can be considered as electronic persons responsible for repairing any damage caused to a third party; it would be conceivable to consider as an electronic person any robot that makes autonomous decisions or that interacts independently with third parties "

We defend that:

- The economic, legal, societal and ethical impact of AI and robotics must be considered without haste or bias. The benefit for all of humanity should be based on the legal framework laid down by the European Union.

- The creation of a legal status of "electronic person" for "autonomous", "unpredictable" and "self-learning" robots is justified by the erroneous assertion that liability for damage caused would be impossible to prove.

Creating a legal personality for a robot is inappropriate regardless of the intended legal status.

From a technical point of view, this statement offers many biases based on an overvaluation of the actual capabilities of the most advanced robots, a superficial understanding of unpredictability and self-learning capabilities and, possibly, a distorted perception of robots by science fiction and some sensational press releases.

From an ethical and legal point of view, creating a legal personality for a robot is inappropriate regardless of the legal status envisaged:

- A legal status for a robot can not be derived from the model of the natural person, since the robot would then have human rights, such as the right to dignity, the right to its integrity, the right to remuneration or the right to citizenship, thus competing directly with human rights. This would be in total contradiction with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

- The legal status of a robot can not derive from the model of the legal person, since it implies the existence of physical persons behind it to represent and direct it. And this is not the case for a robot.

- The legal status of a robot can not derive from the Anglo-Saxon model of the Trust also called Trust or Treuhand in Germany. Indeed, this system is extremely complex, it requires very specialized skills and would not solve the question of responsibility. More importantly, it would always involve the existence of a human being as a last resort - the trustee - responsible for managing the robot with a Trust or Trust.

As a result, we declare that:

- The European Union must encourage the development of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics industry to limit the risks to health and ensure the safety of human beings. The protection of robot users and third parties must be at the heart of all EU legal provisions.

- The European Union must create a framework for the development of AI and innovative and reliable robotics with the aim of creating great breakthroughs for the European peoples and the common market.

Among the 157 signatories from 14 EU countries:

Nathalie Nevejans, Professor of Law and member of COMETS CNRS Ethics Committee

Raja Chatila, President of IEEE, Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligence Systems

Noel Sharkey, Emeritus Professor of AI and Robotics (United Kingdom)

Margo Dessertenne, Director of the Symop Robotics Division (270 large groups and SMEs)

Max Dauchet, President of the CERNA Ethics Committee

Serge Tisseron, psychiatrist at Paris VII University, Member of the Technological Academy, Institute for the Study of Robot-Machine Interactions IERHR

Hugues Bersini, IA Professor and Co-Director of IRIDA Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Development of IA and Member of the Belgian Academy of Sciences

Domenico G. Sorrenti Director of the Robotic Perception Laboratory, University of Milan

Paolo Robuffo Giordano, Director of Research in Robotics at CNRS (France)

Jozef Glasa, Chairman of the Ethics Committee on the Slovak Ministry of Health, member of the Council of Europe Ethics Committee

Source: © Artificial intelligence and robotics: the European Union must set a precise framework

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