Leading experts in robotics and artificial intelligence warned the European Commission that the plans to provide a legal status for robots are “pointless and non-pragmatic” and that such a thing would impair the human rights of Union citizens.

In an open letter, more than 150 scientists in the fields of law, computer science, medicine and ethics warn against the EC proposal for a special legal status for “electronic individuals”, which can be given to more complex autonomous robots.

“The creation of such a status is ideologically pointless and is not practical. From an ethical and legal perspective, the granting of a legal status to the robot is not correct,” the letter said.

According to experts, the Commission’s decisions in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence must be guided primarily in regard to a benefit for all humanity. The main pillar must be the human rights, since there is the danger of “social, psychological and ethical changes”, if a legal status for the machines is given. For them, innovation is important, but it must not be at the expense of the violation of existing humanitarian rights.

The controversial document of the European Parliament, which ruffled some feathers, stresses that robots really have to serve humanity and not be used to harm people. It is part of a large-scale campaign in Brussels to adapt the EU to significant technological developments and challenges.

“Humanity is at the threshold of a new era in which even more complex robots, bots, androids and other manifestations of artificial intelligence will cause a new industrial revolution which will not leave any aspect of society unaffected. It is therefore extremely important for the legislation to consider all these features,” the European Parliament considers.

The lawmakers say that, if a legal status is given, the robots could be accounted for causing different kinds of damages. Earlier the EP has voted against a decision, that protected the EU workers, via higher taxation for employers who change humans for robots.