Problèmes éthiques posés par le remplacement de l'humain par des robots
: Le cas des systèmes d'armes autonomes

Translated title of the thesis: Ethical issues posed by replacement of the human by robots: The case of autonomous weapons

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Philosophy


This work examines the ethical impact of replacing human beings with robots, especially in the military context. It focuses on existing military robots and on programmes contributing to their autonomy until 2015. Increasing autonomy of robots signs the possible replacement of the human being; the moral behaviour of the machines replacing the moral action of man is therefore an issue. Can the robot be a moral agent? Can one create an artificial moral agent? What are the technical, algorithmic, legal and ethical constraints that such achievement would face, especially in the military environment? Robotics are a reality having already an impact on the political and military world, as illustrated by the use of unmanned air vehicles. What might be the effects of greater autonomy of robots in obtaining victory and towards military ethics? The innovative aspect should not obliterate the challenges facing soldiers as well as robots. If no one is infallible, what can one conclude about the project of creating moral robots, and what kind of future can we look for in view of friendly robotics respecting military ethics?
Date of Award19 Jan 2016
Original languageFrench
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
  • Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne
SupervisorJean-Michel Besnier (Co-Supervisor), Dominique Lambert (Co-Supervisor), Jean Gabriel Ganascia (President), Nathalie Colette-Basecqz (Jury), Alain RENAUT (Jury) & Renaud Ronsse (Jury)

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