EU-Proposed Robot "Electronic Person" Rights: the Good, the Bad and the Scary for Human Workers and Employers


If you are fearful that robots are going to "take 'ar jobs!", you need to know that there's something else they may take. If the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs May 31, 2016 Draft Proposal is any indicator, robots may as "electronic persons"—sooner than you might ever imagine or fear—also take their place in the civil rights, social security and supermarket queues and arenas, and perhaps even in a jury or witness box (e.g., in liability cases), or ultimately even in the voting booth.

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EU-Proposed Robot

What you will learn in this eBook

What Is This Really All About?

Even at this early proposal stage, some of these EUDP proposals are already under intense fire for what they appear to be about, envisage and entail. In a June 23, 2016 Forbes.com opinion piece, "More EU Lunacy: Robots Should Pay Social Security Taxes For The Pensions They Won't Get", Tim Worstall, media writer and a Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, blasts the idea of taxing the bots:

"One of the more ludicrous suggestions is that robots should pay social security taxes for all the social security benefits they won’t get...What they really mean of course is that anyone who has the temerity to employ robots should be paying higher taxes for said temerity. It is as if factories should pay more in tax because they use machines."

About the author

Michael Moffa
Michael Moffa
Michael Moffa, writer for Recruiter.com, is a former editor and writer with China Daily News, Hong Kong edition and Editor-in-chief, Business Insight Japan Magazine, Tokyo; he has also been a columnist with one of Japan's national newspapers, The Daily Yomiuri, and a university lecturer (critical thinking and philosophy) in Canada, China and Japan.
EU-Proposed Robot "Electronic Person" Rights: the Good, the Bad and the Scary for Human Workers and Employers