This paper discusses the European Parliament’s Resolution of 16 February 2017 with recommendations to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics (European Parliament 2017). It provides a brief summary of the content of the Resolution and looks at its basic principles and raison d’être.
It also touches on the issue of defining robots and their liability. In so doing, it suggests a twofold shift in the rationale of Parliament’s recommendations. Using a prospective approach and taking into consideration the views of scholars who are specialised in analysing robotics and artificial intelligence, this paper proposes that Parliament’s recommendations could go further by addressing a much broader spectrum of artificial agents and artificial intelligence, instead of focusing on specific categories of robots.
It then looks at the responsibility, visibility and liability of those who have decision-making powers over the design, development and deployment of robots and artificial intelligence, including designers and developers.