Design for responsibility: safeguarding moral perception via a partnership architecture

Tjerk de Greef*, Alex Leveringhaus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Advanced warfare technologies (AWT) create unprecedented capabilities to control the delivery of military force up to the point, some argue, that we are loosing humanity. But dependence on them generates difficult moral challenges impacting the decision-making process, which are only beginning to be addressed. In order to arrive at an informed opinion about the impact of AWT on decision-making, we need to know more about what AWTs are and how they operate. We provide a short overview of the different types of AWTs and discuss the key principles that underlie Humanitarian Law. We also discuss the impact of physical distance and increased levels of autonomy on AWT and discuss the challenges posed to moral perception. Before such systems can be deployed, we need to rest assured that their usage enhances, rather than undermines, human decision-making capacities. There are important choices to be made, and sound design is ‘design for responsibility’. As a solution, we therefore propose the partnership architecture that embeds concurrent views of the world and working agreements, ensuring that operators use appropriate information in the decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalCognition, Technology and Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Drones
  • Human–machine teamwork
  • Moral perception
  • Partnerships
  • Responsibility
  • Sensemaking
  • Unmanned systems
  • Working agreements


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