The topic “Artificial Intelligences” is progressively becoming reality, raising fearsome legal and ethical questions, with reference in particular to responsibility for the acts of ’robots’. In a close future, we could have driverless vehicles, healthcare automation by autonomous robots, in a manner of speaking “humanoid caregivers” at home. The progress of genetics and medicine could also lead to directed and adapted modifications of the genome or it could turn “cyborgs” into reality by machine-men transplantations.
Robots are acquiring more and more possibilities and man is increasing his capacities by boosting them with the contribution of machines. We know how to create brain-computer functional interfaces. All these changes are being speeded up by combinations of various technologies: convergences between neuro, bio, information and cognitive sciences.
These issues would be worth a forward-looking debate by the Parliamentary Assembly as they influence human rights and freedoms. The use of converging technologies (robotics, nanotechnologies, neurotechnologies) for military purposes should lead to proposals by the Council of Europe as regards the evolution of governance. The Council of Europe has played a leading role in the implementation of a legal framework for bioethics. It is advisable that it should continue to act as a watchdog because dignity, identity, integrity, right to privacy, and freedom of thought should remain our priority.