CFP: Special Issue "Meaningful Human Control and Autonomous Weapons Systems: Ethics, Design, and Responsible Innovation"

Submission deadline: August 31, 2021

Topic areas


Dear Colleagues,

Global discussions on the legality and ethics of using Artificial intelligence (AI) technology in warfare, particularly the use of autonomous weapons (AWS), continue to be hotly debated. Despite the push for a ban on these types of systems, unilateral agreement remains out of reach. Much of the disaccord comes from a privation of common understandings of fundamental notions of what it means for these types of systems to be autonomous. Similarly, there is a dispute as to what, if at all possible, it means for humans to have meaningful control over these systems.

This Special Issue aims to contribute to this ongoing discourse by exploring the issues central to the debate on the ban of autonomous weapon systems. Investigators in the field are invited to contribute their original, unpublished works. Both research and review papers are welcome. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • The philosophical foundations of meaningful human control;
  • Governance of AWS by multiagent networks;
  • Distributed accounts of moral responsibility;
  • Ethical principles underlying the design of AWS;
  • Design approaches for the implementation of ethical principles in AWS;
  • Critical evaluation of the arguments for/against a ban of AWS;
  • Reviews of AWS literature and articulation of directions for future research;
  • Approach to AI control and value compliance.

Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy
Prof. Dr. Birgitta Dresp-Langley
Dr. Steven Umbrello
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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