As part of a future-looking series of papers commissioned by the UK Office of Science and Innovation's Horizon Scanning Centre, developments over the next 50 years could lead to robots demanding the same rights as human beings. The study suggests that machines might be granted the both the rights & responsibilites of all Her Majesty's subjects, including voting, taxes, and military service.
South Korea is drafting an ethical code to regulate interaction between humans and robots. The rules are expected to set guidelines for robotic surgery, household servants, and human-robot "relationships." (via Slashdot)
The Government of Japan is also following suit, although its efforts appear to be mired in committee gibberish and red tape. Fears of conflict between man and machine, and civil servants seeking to avoid liability, seem to be the driving forces behind the draft proposal. Unlike the straightforward language of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, the Japanese rulebook contains wonderful bureaucratic poetry such as:
Risk shall be defined as a combination of the occurrence rate of danger and the actual level of danger. Risk estimation involves estimating the potential level of danger and evaluating the potential sources of danger. Therefore total risk is defined as the danger of use of robots and potential sources of danger.
Sounds like bloatware to me...