Do you still consider Homo sapiens the Lord of the world, the most perfect form of human being, the only one «thinking creature»? Are you convinced that only a Homo sapiens is endowed with reasoning power, ability to think, study, develop? And what if it is not so? After all, if this “thinking creature” has gone so far in its development as to invent “competitors” in contests for dominance over the Universe? Artificial intelligence is rapidly developing and has the potential to exceed human intelligence in the next 40 years already. Robots are becoming more and more anthropomorphic and soon it will be very difficult to distinguish them from people. In this regard, a great deal of ethical and legal issues emerge. Not so far Tokyo became the first city on the planet, which granted the resident status to artificial intelligence. Chatbot Mirai Sibuia has obtained Tokyo’s “residence”. Physically it does not exist – but it can correspond with people in the popular application Line. Robot Sophia has acquired citizenship of Saudi Arabia. Of course, both Sophia and Mirai Sibuia are, rather, just funny (and pricy) toys, but not full-fledged intelligent beings. And granting them “civil rights” is nothing more than an advertising step. However, further development of artificial intelligence gives rise to serious thinking about human rights and the rights of a machine. One more event makes us pay attention to the legal aspects of robotics. This time it is sad. In March 2017 in American city Tampa, an unmanned vehicle knocked down and killed a woman who was crossing the road in the wrong place. This was the first case when a human factor was completely absent in human death as a result of a road traffic accident.
Parliaments and governments are already engaged in developing the «rules of conduct»| for artificial intelligence. For example, in February 2017, the European Parliament adopted the Resolution «Civil Law Rules on Robotics». Parliamentarians not only offered to create a European-wide register of “smart” cars, but are also thinking about granting artificial intelligent a special status of “intelligent electronic robot” or even “electronic personality”. Do we need this? Is this the right thing to do? The specialists do not have an unambiguous answer to such questions. For some, for example, for the British professor Kerstin Dautengan, robots deserve the rights to the same extent as, for example, a TV or a washing machine. Others, on the other hand, are convinced that robots are part of the environmental and social systems, and therefore, should acquire the rights. While experts are arguing, Estonia is already making the first steps in creating a new area of law. They offer to create a series of tests in the country that will determine the complexity of artificial intelligence. In addition, Estonia is going to introduce into the legislation a special term “robot agent”. Experts point out that this will be something between the legal entity and the property. What an interesting future awaits humanity!