Who is controlling whom? Reframing "meaningful human control" of AI systems in security

Ethics Inf Technol. 2023;25(1):10. doi: 10.1007/s10676-023-09686-x. Epub 2023 Feb 10.


Decisions in security contexts, including armed conflict, law enforcement, and disaster relief, often need to be taken under circumstances of limited information, stress, and time pressure. Since AI systems are capable of providing a certain amount of relief in such contexts, such systems will become increasingly important, be it as decision-support or decision-making systems. However, given that human life may be at stake in such situations, moral responsibility for such decisions should remain with humans. Hence the idea of "meaningful human control" of intelligent systems. In this opinion paper, we outline generic configurations of control of AI and we present an alternative to human control of AI, namely the inverse idea of having AI control humans, and we discuss the normative consequences of this alternative.

Keywords: Autonomous systems; Decision-making; Human-Machine-Interaction; Meaningful human control; Security.