Thursday, January 12, 2017

Real news, fake outrage

Wesley Smith at National Review's The Corner --

a committee of the European Parliament has voted in favor of robot rights. From story: 

That's the US right wing and Russian noise machine alliance in a nutshell: National Review sourcing about the EU giving rights to robots to Russia Today. The only surprise is that the Tory press is not also cited.

And as usual, it takes a bit more digging than the Outrage-Industrial Complex is willing to tolerate to find out what is going on. Yes, there is a European Parliament committee that looked at rights and liabilities related to robots. These issues become very real in an accident involving such machines and in this respect the Outrage over Robot Rights mirrors Boris Johnson's recent Outrage over liability insurance for lawnmowers.

But all the committee did was ask the European Commission to consider drafting legislation in this area, and the committee's recommendation was accompanied by a sceptical legal analysis casting doubt on much of what the committee was asking for.

Yet by the time the situation has been clarified, the talking point about EU rights for robots is already off on its own momentum. Will Trump bring it up at his next news conference?

Image: the Krab Borg episode. 

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