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AI and Autonomy in Weapons: War and Conflict out of Control?

Dear readers, the first issue of “Ethics and Armed Forces” was published ten years ago. We are therefore revisiting the topic of that issue – “Anonymous Killing by new Technologies? The Soldier between Conscience and Machine”. In addition to the happy occasion, there is another reason for this decision: Even if not every argument in the debate about so-called autonomous weapon systems (AWS) is new, there have been significant developments, especially in recent times.

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Advocating for A Legally Binding Instrument on Autonomous Weapons Systems: Which Way Ahead

Catherine Connolly

The obstructive attitude of a few states should not continue to prevent binding regulations under international law

Autonomous Weapons Systems – Current International Discussions

Andreas Bilgeri

We have to determine and shape technological change in warfare ourselves

Digital Escalation Potential: How Does AI Operate at the Limits of Reason?

Axel Siegemund

The military use of AI requires well-founded trust in the system and the ability to intervene at any time

AI for the Armed Forces Does not Need a Special Morality! A brief argument concerning the regulation of autonomous weapons systems

Erny Gillen

In the negotiations on the regulation of lethal autonomous weapons systems, one basic principle could point the way forward

Human Dignity and “Autonomous” Robotics: What is the Problem?

Bernhard Koch

Digitized killing undermines considerations of human dignity from the outset

Burden of Proof in the Autonomous Weapons Debate – Why Ban Advocates Have Not Met It (Yet)

Maciek Zając

States must not be denied a potential military advantage based on insufficient arguments

Humanity in War? The Importance of Meaningful Human Control for the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons Systems

Susanne Beck
Schirin Barlag

Meaningful human control must be operationalized for legal and ethical reasons

Meaningful Human Control of Autonomous Systems

Daniel Giffhorn
Reinhard Gerndt

The gray area between rule compliance and mission fulfillment must be explored

AI in the Age of Distrust

Henning Lahmann

We need suitable measures to fight disinformation

Special: Military, Man, Machine

“If you do without superior technologies, you forgo the ability to act in an ethically responsible way”

Ansgar Rieks
Wolfgang Koch

Humans will always remain responsible, but the network of responsibilities will change with the use of AI

“The method of death matters because it reflects the values and principles of the society that permits it”


Humanity’s ethical compass should never get overridden by unfeeling algorithms