Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):455-464 (2021)

Authors
Steven Umbrello
Delft University of Technology
Abstract
The international debate on the ethics and legality of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), along with the call for a ban, primarily focus on the nebulous concept of fully autonomous AWS. These are AWS capable of target selection and engagement absent human supervision or control. This paper argues that such a conception of autonomy is divorced from both military planning and decision-making operations; it also ignores the design requirements that govern AWS engineering and the subsequent tracking and tracing of moral responsibility. To show how military operations can be coupled with design ethics, this paper marries two different kinds of meaningful human control (MHC) termed levels of abstraction. Under this two-tiered understanding of MHC, the contentious notion of ‘full’ autonomy becomes unproblematic.
Keywords meaningful human control  lethal autonomous weapons  value sensitive design  jus ad bellum  responsible innovation
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Reprint years 2021
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-021-09588-w
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References found in this work BETA

Meaningful Human Control Over Smart Home Systems: A Value Sensitive Design Approach.Steven Umbrello - 2020 - Humana.Mente Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (37):40-65.
The Ethics of Information Transparency.Matteo Turilli & Luciano Floridi - 2009 - Ethics and Information Technology 11 (2):105-112.
Meaningful Human Control Over Smart Home Systems: A Value Sensitive Design Approach.Steven Umbrello - 2020 - Humana.Mente Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (37):40-65.

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