Catholic World News

EU bishops’ commission: robots should not be treated as legal persons

May 17, 2017

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has criticized a resolution from the European Parliament that called for consideration of legal personhood status for some robots.

The Parliament called upon the European Commission—the EU’s administrative body—to consider “creating a specific legal status for robots… so that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons responsible for making good any damage they may cause, and possibly applying electronic personality to cases where robots make autonomous decisions or otherwise interact with third parties independently.”

In its response, published earlier this month, COMECE stated that “the Parliament’s proposal contradicts the very concept of responsibility, based on ultimate human rights and duties,” adding:

Responsibility rooted in legal personality shall only be exercised in presence of a certain capacity for freedom. Freedom is more than autonomy. Recognizing legal personality to robots could also open up possibilities for their capability of having an alleged full range of rights and duties in other legal areas. Applying to robots rules on liability for animals would also be problematic, leading to an unacceptable shift towards considering robots as belonging to the area of “the living.”

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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - May. 17, 2017 8:52 PM ET USA

    This is a clear indication of just how far society has caved in to the devil. Now some politicians want to bestow Personhood on robots but they are too blind to see the obvious Personhood of the child in the womb.

  • Posted by: kwonbbl1 - May. 17, 2017 8:45 PM ET USA

    With further technology advancement, android beings may be given a legal personhood status. But we have to clear about what is meant by 'person' to begin with. It will be 'android person', different from 'human person'.

  • Posted by: mwean7331 - May. 17, 2017 6:40 PM ET USA

    Now I've heard everything. The world (humanity) has gone beserk God help us