Responsibility for Killer Robots

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):731-747 (2019)
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Abstract

Future weapons will make life-or-death decisions without a human in the loop. When such weapons inflict unwarranted harm, no one appears to be responsible. There seems to be a responsibility gap. I first reconstruct the argument for such responsibility gaps to then argue that this argument is not sound. The argument assumes that commanders have no control over whether autonomous weapons inflict harm. I argue against this assumption. Although this investigation concerns a specific case of autonomous weapons systems, I take steps towards vindicating the more general idea that superiors can be morally responsible in virtue of being in command.

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Johannes Himmelreich
Syracuse University

Citations of this work

Group Agency and Artificial Intelligence.Christian List - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology (4):1-30.
Instrumental Robots.Sebastian Köhler - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (6):3121-3141.

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