Who (or what) is an 'electronic person'? We may know sooner than expected.

According to a resolution passed in the European Parliament, the Commission should take a number of urgent steps to ensure a smooth transition into the 'fourth industrial revolution' of robotics and artificial intelligence.

A key measure being proposed is the granting of a specific legal status to robots - that of an 'electronic person' - in order to clarify the legal position of parties involved in, for instance, an accident involving an autonomous vehicle. In addition, mandatory 'kill switches' should be built into any potentially dangerous projects.

Putting any anti-apocalypse measures aside, a less newsworthy yet no less important development lies in the fact that the European Parliament refused a request to consider a special income for those who lose their jobs due to automation. For all our efforts aimed at the ultimate survival of the human race, the issue of future mass unemployment remains unresolved.