Media seminar on Civil law on Robotics
7 February 2017
Seminar on civil law related to robotics. During the event I presented a report on which I worked on behalf of the LIBE Committee.
- I believe that the development of robotics and Artificial Intelligence is and will be beneficial not only for the economy but also for ordinary people in their everyday lives.
- From LIBE point of view:
- The report states clearly the existing legal framework has to be accompanied by guiding ethical principles for all stages of robots development, production and use. This is necessary as the robots and AI have and will have even stronger emotional and physical impact on people. We do not know exactly where we will be in few years’ time, what will be possible.
- For this reason, I believe that strong and definitive legislation would be not a right answer. We need to work on the ethical standards, standards on privacy and data protection, security. With such standards and embedded principles in the development, production and use of robots, we will have a better chance to make sure that all new developments are following the right path.
- This ethical framework needs to be based on the principles enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, such as privacy, security, human dignity, equality, non-discrimination.
- The aim is the shape the technological revolution in that field to make sure that it follows certain directions and standards by default.
- We have dedicated major part of the LIBE opinion to make sure that all civil law regulations in this area will be consistent with the Union data protection framework, including recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation. It has to be compliant with such data protection principles as privacy by design and by default, data minimisation, purpose limitation, transparent control mechanism for data subjects over their data and make sure that we have appropriate remedies in place regarding Union data protection legislation.
- Apart of ethical framework and data protection principles, the big addition that LIBE has suggested and that was included in the report was the issue of data security. The free flow of data is crucial for the development of robotics and AI but this flow of data has to be secured, together with the internal robots data systems. Interconnected systems of robots and AI has to be secured to prevent security breaches, cyber-attacks, data thefts etc. Security by design has to be encouraged.
- Security is also key when it comes to the communication processes between robots and people.
- The question of making sure that the robots will not create a dependency, serious emotional or physical impact and emotional attachment. This is especially important with vulnerable groups.
The development of robotics and artificial intelligence raises legal and ethical issues that require a prompt intervention at EU level. While it will be up to the Commission to eventually present one or more legislative proposals related to robotics and artificial intelligence, the European Parliament has decided to pave the way for such initiatives.
Robotics and AI have become one of the most prominent technological trends of our century. The fast increase of their use and development brings new and difficult challenges to our society. The road from the industrial sector to the civil society environment requires a different approach on these technologies, as robots and AI would increase their interaction with humans in very diverse fields.
The JURI Committee believes that the risks posed by these new interactions should be tackled urgently, ensuring that a set of core fundamental values is translated into every stage of contact between robots, AI and humans. In this process, special emphasis should be given to human safety, privacy, integrity, dignity and autonomy.
Other important aspects addressed in this resolution are: standardisation, intellectual property rights, data ownership, employment and liability. It is crucial that regulation provides predictable and sufficiently clear conditions to incentivise European innovation in the area of robotics and AI.
The resolution establishes general as well as ethical principles concerning the development of robotics and AI for civil use. First, in order to properly address this development, a common definition of smart autonomous robots is fundamental. Furthermore, research in robotics and ICT as well as in the implications of their dissemination should be strengthened.
Second, in order to address the ethical principles, a Charter on Robotics is annexed to the resolution. This Charter consists of a Code of Ethical Conduct for Robotics Engineers, a Code for Research Ethics Committees and Licenses for Designers and Users. The proposed framework is in full compliance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Moreover, the creation of a European Agency for robotics and AI is suggested. This agency should provide the necessary technical, ethical and regulatory expertise to support the relevant public actors.