Theoretical foundations for the responsibility of autonomous agents

Jaap Hage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article argues that it is possible to hold autonomous agents themselves, and not only their makers, users or owners, responsible for the acts of these agents. In this connection autonomous systems are computer programs that interact with the outside world without human interference. They include such systems as ‘intelligent’ weapons and self-driving cars. The argument is based on an analogy between human beings and autonomous agents and its main element asserts that if humans can be held responsible, so can, in principle, autonomous agents, as humans are more like autonomous agents than is often assumed (rather than the other way round).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-271
Number of pages17
JournalArtificial Intelligence and Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

Cite this