Statement by Ryan Heath on Digital Agenda - Europeans welcome use of robots in an increasingly complex world

Type: Speech - summary   Reference: I-074503   Duration: 10:00:05  Lieu:
End production: 14/09/2012   First transmission: 14/09/2012
On 14 September 2012, Ryan Heath, Spokesperson of Neelie Kroes,Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda, made a statement on the use of Robots in Europe. Robots are widely regarded as essential for Europe's industrial competitiveness. But there is a multiplicity of new applications where robots could also contribute to the well-being of people, including the most vulnerable members of our society. Capitalising on this potential will require open debate and investment. Boosting research and innovation in robotics is therefore one of the priorities of the Digital Agenda for Europe. For the period 2007-2013, the European Commission has spent about €600 million in robotics research; from 2013 to 2020, €14 billion are earmarked to support key enabling and industrial technologies such as robotics.

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10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Soundbite by Ryan Heath, Spokesperson of Neelie Kroes,Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda (in ENGLISH): Robots are becoming a bigger part of million of businesses and million of people's life, so the EU takes it very seriously to find out what the attitude of Europeans are to robots and the latest EU wide survey that we released today shows that the majority of Europeans really do see a value in robots, up to 88% of people think that they have a positive contribution to make into our society. That can be everything from cleaning tasks; it can be complex procedures like medical surgeries, even today, supporting vulnerable people, people who have disabilities and also the more obvious thing like having a role in factories. So, there is a lot of ways in which robots are making a difference and what that shows us is that we need to invest more into research in robotics but we also need to have a bigger debate and to raise awareness about what robots can do in our society because the survey shows differences of views about whether people accept robots helping your children homework for example, do you trust them to be part of healthcare or is it just something that should just be in a factory or doing a dangerous task. People have different views there so what we want to do is raise awareness and have a debate about what are the appropriate limits for robots in our society. 00:01:19
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