Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo is Research Fellow in Cyber Security and Ethics, at the Politics and International Studies Department (PAIS), University of Warwick, and Research Associate at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. Her work focuses mainly on the ethical analysis of cyber security practices and information conflicts. Her primary research interests are Information and Computer Ethics, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence and Multi-Agents Systems. Until 2012, Dr. Taddeo held a Marie Curie Fellowship to work on the ethics of information warfare. She is the editor (with Luciano Floridi) of Ethics of Information Warfare, a volume forthcoming for Springer.
Moral Responsibility for Hybrid Systems in Cyber Warfare, a Case for Distributed Morality
This paper addresses the issue of attributing moral responsibility for the actions performed by hybrid systems (systems compounded by human and autonomous artificial agents) in cases of cyber warfare. This is a pressing problem and has a bearing on both ethicists and policy-makers, as the deployment of hybrid systems in cyberwar grows at a fast pace posing ethical and policy problems. The main issue to be address is that moral responsibility can be only ascribed to an agent as long this one has a clear understanding of the moral implications of the performed actions and is also able to truly accept the blame or reward that my follow such actions. As artificial agents do not satisfy any of these two conditions, it is generally agreed that they cannot be held morally responsible for their own actions. At the same time, it does not seem fair to attribute the moral responsibility for actions performed by the artificial agent to the human agent in the hybrid system. The paper maintains that the problem is solved when the concepts of moral accountability and distributed morality are taken into account.