Germany (Reuters) - Europe's growing army of robot workers could be classed as "electronic persons" and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution.
Robots are being deployed in ever-greater numbers in factories and also taking on tasks such as personal care or surgery, raising fears over unemployment, wealth inequality and alienation.
Their growing intelligence, pervasiveness and autonomy requires rethinking everything from taxation to legal liability, a draft European Parliament motion, dated May 31, suggests.
Some robots are even taking on a human form. (skipping down)
The motion faces an uphill battle to win backing from the various political blocks in European Parliament. Even if it did get enough support to pass, it would be a non-binding resolution as the Parliament lacks the authority to propose legislation. (Link to story)