This story was another one that seemed to have attracted a lot of people's attention this past week: an EU parliament committee - a completely powerless "legislative" body - has voted to give robots "rights", along with a kill switch:

EU Parliament Committee Votes To Give Robots Rights (And A Kill Switch)

I've blogged previously about the sneaky jurisprudence implied in such efforts, but this one spells it all out plainly; none of my usual high octane speculation is needed:

Foreseeing a rapidly approaching age of autonomous artificial intelligence, a European Parliament committee has voted to legally bestow electronic personhood to robots. The status includes a detailed list of rights, responsibilities, regulations, and a “kill switch.”

The committee voted by 17 votes to two, with two abstentions, to approve a draft report written by Luxembourg MEP Mady Delvaux, who believes “robots, bots, androids and other manifestations of artificial intelligence” will spawn a new industrial revolution. She wants to establish a European Agency to develop rules for how to govern AI behavior. Specifically, Delvaux writes about how increased levels of autonomy in robot entities will make usual manufacturing liability laws insufficient. It will become necessary, the report states, to be able to hold robots and their manufacturers legally responsible for their acts.

Sounding at times like a governmental whisper of Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, the report states, A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.”

The rules will also affect AI developers, who, according to the report, will have to engineer robots in such a way that they can be controlled. This includes a “kill switch,” a mechanism by which rogue robots can be terminated or shut down remotely. (Emphases in the original)

Now, if you're like me, you're seeing or sensing a huge danger here, and it makes me wonder if the water supply in Europe is being doped with anti-sanity and anti-reason drugs, for observe the implicit and explicit logical argument here:

(1) humans are persons;

(2) persons have special rights, and with them come special responsibilities (one shudders to think what "rights" mean to a Eurocrat, but we'll assume the best and move on);

(3) human consciousness and "personhood" can be produced by machines, and artificial intelligence should constitute "electronic personhood" just like corporations are "corporate persons"

(Of course, this is now all getting to be a little fuzzy, and as I've said many times, all this corporate personhood stuff is based in a theological confusion of massive proportions. But, hey, relax, because we're modern trendy predominantly secularized Europeans and we needn't bother with the niceties of mediaeval metaphysics, even if those niceties have issued in a horribly screwed up notion like "corporations are persons" while "unborn babies are not" but robots are For my part, the silliness of corporate personhood resides in the old adage "I'll believe corporations are persons when the State of Texas executes one of them." Heck, forget about murder, I'd settle for manslaughter and a long prison sentence for a few of them, but I digress.

(4) But we need to protect humanity from the possibility that robots might go rogue and do something like found a corporation (a corporate electronic person, presumably) whose corporate charter says that its corporate electronic personhood function is to kill other persons (presumably of either the human biological sort, or the robotic electronic sort). Thus, we need a

(5) "kill switch" to "terminate the program/robot/electronic person".

Well, in today's wonderful transhumanist "cashless" world, why not a "kill switch" in your friendly implant when you start having "unacceptable thoughts" like using cash, or questioning the latest "narrative from Brussels." If it's good enough for "electronic persons" then one be quite certain that some insane Eurocrat, somewhere, will propose the same thing for human persons by parity of reasoning...

...a parity of reasoning that will not, of course, extend to corporations.

See you on the flip side...


Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. James on January 27, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    It gives one pause to really contemplate the message left by the likes of Phillip Dick and the fruition of the messages in Blade Runner to ask all to be introspective on the infinite linear regression of assumptions that manifest as qualifications of being REAL and not SYNTHETIC before passing judgment upon where we are…….Who we are and. Why we are………
    Assumptions are not always what they seem…… Assumptions can lead to a less than optimal outcome.

    • Kahlypso on January 30, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Philip Dick was supposedly in contact with the Black Knight..

    • Kahlypso on January 30, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Modded? Aww c’mon … its his name.. its not my fault 🙂

  2. Robert Barricklow on January 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    It’s apt to use an Indiana Jones enters the temple loaded with sophisticated ancient technologies trip-wired for sinister purposes. The human[possibly engineered] being is entering new phase. New, that is to our eyes, but perhaps not to those that laid the foundations before us. By some analyses, these beings[?] entered into a cosmic war. The survivors then planted seeds/structural infrastructure[dimensional]; environmental; biological – and time phased by quantum increments.
    Now, is there, or is there not free will?
    Because entering this new[ancient] phase of GRIN technologies brings to mind the phrase: Fools Rush In.

    • Robert Barricklow on January 27, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Being that these technologies are fraught with unintentional trip wires that once let loose, will be like getting the genie getting back into the lamp.
      These robots, like their corporate masters, are inhuman.
      Now that’s a damn big clue as to what’s behind Door #1 .

    • Robert Barricklow on January 27, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Just as I was set to post Doors 2, 3, and 4.
      What a damn drag!
      Is it *@#%*ing bot?
      Or, a brainwashed human.
      Apparently what ever door it’s behind,
      has been crossed one too many times.

    • Robert Barricklow on January 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      That stream of conscious post…
      I’ll try to remember at least a few threads.
      Door #2 is where silicon and software will combine with living technologies. Door # 3 throws synthetic biology and genetic editing into the mix.
      Can’t remember #4, but I was getting into dimensional phasing when zapped.
      Anyway, They are leading humanity through doors that will profoundly, and fundamentally change what humanity becomes.
      Is the human being…
      being engineered/phased out?
      Well, I’am not going through any of those doors,
      hell or high water. Still, it looks like someone/thing is hellbound to bust through all of them[& more]
      and take what’s left of humanity – through them.

  3. marcos toledo on January 27, 2017 at 10:44 am

    But slavery is the question it’s what lies behind all these moves. By the way the word person comes from the Latin word persona which means mask. This is behind the many dog and pony shows of AI beating us inferior biologicals at the games of chess and go and the idea we are obsolete to our masters the gods of creation who alone have the right to exist and live.

  4. OrigensChild on January 27, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Years ago, when Dr. Farrell was interviewed by George Anne Hughes regularly on the Byte Show, the topic of personhood was broached many times. I remember those arguments well–and agree with his sentiment. I remember thinking, then, that the people who proposed this structure may have been insane. After centuries of juris prudence built on top of this artiface I believed those responsible for that structure were insane. But with this development, I believe we now see insanity itself! The current system is evil enough, but this is worse.

    Why would they want to do this? Its simple. Are these planners of plunder, rape and pillage planning to tax machines heavier than they are humans? By assigning them person-hood and corporate status, will they now have legal standing on their own in litigation over abuse? Because they are considered property and persons are the owners responsible for the robots back taxes in the event they are not able to pay? And if this is true will humans and machines be ultimately equated in the eyes of law–reducing humanity back to slave status along with machines?

    We need to rethink this corporate person-hood argument NOW!!! This should also include the conversion of persons to commodities for assessing value and levying taxes. This whole idea is just slavery in another form. Oh, never mind! Banksters and cabals don’t want slavery imposed on any specific group of people. That’s patently unfair. They want to make slaves of us all! And that includes governments, too!

  5. basta on January 27, 2017 at 8:32 am

    The EU continues to prove its relevance –nay, its indispensability — by such important legislation as this, ensuring the rights of metallic assemblages, and by the visionary plan unveiled this week to build a freemasonic temple on the moon.

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