Europe’s robots to become ‘electronic persons’ under draft plan

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An industrial robotic arm pours a glass of beer at the Automatica trade fair in Munich on Tuesday. Photo: Bloomberg

 

Munich:   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. Continue reading

Electronic Weapons: The Swarm Goes To War

May 2, 2016: Since the 1980s the U.S. Department of Defense has been spending more time and effort on developing technology to make it possible for autonomous robots to communicate and cooperate in maintaining the most efficient “swarm” of robotic sensors or weapons. Progress has been slow but successful. Now the navy is testing swarms of small submarine detecting surface and underwater vehicles. The air force has already developed swarming systems for UAVs as well as some types of aerial decoys. The army is doing the same with small robotic vehicles used for surveillance and security. After more than half a century of theoretical and practical work the swarms are about to enter service. Continue reading