Cyber Weaponry pp 157-169 | Cite as

Autonomous Weapons: Terminator-Esque Software Design

  • Seumas Miller
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)


This chapter explores the moral implications of autonomous robotic weapons. This is done by answering several key questions. Firstly, in what sense are such weapons really autonomous? It is argued that this is not the case. Secondly, do such weapons necessarily compromise the moral responsibility of their human designers, computer programmers and/or operators and, if so, in what manner and to what extent? It is argued that it is not necessarily the case, at least if such weapons have human in or on the loop. Finally, should certain forms of autonomous weapons be prohibited? It is argued that human out of the loop weapons should be prohibited.


Autonomous weapons Responsibility gap Human out-of-the-loop Moral autonomy 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Graduate School of Policing and SecurityCharles Sturt UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Delft University of Technology and the University of OxfordDelftThe Netherlands

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