chapter
13 Pages

Drones and Responsibility

Mapping the Field
ByFilippo Santoni de Sio, Ezio Di Nucci

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book aims to analyze in more depth the relationship between the use of drones in military operations and various issues of responsibility. Sparrow argues that the commanding officer cannot be held responsible for everything the machines will do because 'the autonomy of the machine implies that its orders do not determine its actions'. By examining the legal cases following the targeted killings of Al-Aulaqi by the US government and of Salah Shehadeh by the Israeli government, Meloni highlights some difficulties in the ascertainment of legal responsibility before domestic courts for targeted killings by drones and their collateral effects. However, according to the value-sensitive design approach, the main focus of the ethical reflection on technology and responsibility should not be on the issue of backward-looking moral responsibility of engineers and designers but rather on the question about their forward-looking moral responsibilities.