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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Responsibility for Killer Robots

Johannes Himmelreich
Ethic Theory Moral Prac (2019).
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10677-019-10007-9

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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