Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (1):62–77 (2007)
The United States Army’s Future Combat Systems Project, which aims to manufacture a “robot army” to be ready for deployment by 2012, is only the latest and most dramatic example of military interest in the use of artificially intelligent systems in modern warfare. This paper considers the ethics of a decision to send artificially intelligent robots into war, by asking who we should hold responsible when an autonomous weapon system is involved in an atrocity of the sort that would normally be described as a war crime. A number of possible loci of responsibility for robot war crimes are canvassed; the persons who designed or programmed the system, the commanding officer who ordered its use, the machine itself. I argue that in fact none of these are ultimately satisfactory. Yet it is a necessary condition for fighting a just war, under the principle of jus in bellum, that someone can be justly held responsible for deaths that occur in the course of the war. As this condition cannot be met in relation to deaths caused by an autonomous weapon system it would therefore be unethical to deploy such systems in warfare.
|Keywords||ethics robotics military robotics artificial intelligence|
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References found in this work BETA
Computers in Control: Rational Transfer of Authority or Irresponsible Abdication of Autonomy? [REVIEW]Arthur Kuflik - 1999 - Ethics and Information Technology 1 (3):173-184.
Citations of this work BETA
Moral Predators: The Duty to Employ Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles.Bradley J. Strawser - 2010 - Journal of Military Ethics 9 (4):342-368.
Information Warfare: A Philosophical Perspective. [REVIEW]Mariarosaria Taddeo - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (1):105-120.
Robowarfare: Can Robots Be More Ethical Than Humans on the Battlefield? [REVIEW]John P. Sullins - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 12 (3):263-275.
Just War and Robots’ Killings.Thomas W. Simpson & Vincent C. Müller - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 33 (263):302-22.
Building a Better Warbot: Ethical Issues in the Design of Unmanned Systems for Military Applications.Robert Sparrow - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (2):169-187.
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