The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee commissioned a study to evaluate and analyze, from a legal and ethical perspective, a number of future European civil law rules in robotics (i) ; and now, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee has voted in favor of a resolution calling for new laws addressing robotics and artificial intelligence according a draft report (ii). The report will next be voted on by the full house in February 2017, requiring an absolute majority.

Some abstracts of proposes:
The most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons with specific rights and obligations, including that of making good any damage they may cause.
A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
A robot is not a human and will never be human. A robot can show empathy but it cannot feel empathy.
Whereas in the scenario where a robot can take autonomous decisions, the traditional rules will not suffice to activate a robot’s liability, since they would not make it possible to identify the party responsible for providing compensation and to require this party to make good the damage it has caused.

(i) Study to evaluate and analyze, from a legal and ethical perspective, a number of future European civil law rules in robotics (full text PDF 848KB 34 pgs).

(ii) Draft Report with recommendations to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics (Full Text PDF 332KB 22 pgs):