On Autonomous Software

Rule of Law

The rule of law is foundational to modern civilization and has led humans to accept rational-legal authority in its various expressions throughout the social order. Today, a similar principle is driving the creation of ‘credibly neutral’ software systems. Lane Rettig writes:

Social Structure

A related issue concerns the degree to which autonomous software should include ‘kill switches’ or other options for some authority to unilaterally affect how the system operates. Rettig writes:


[1] Weber, M. (1946). Politics as a Vocation. In H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (eds.), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (pp. 77‐128). New York: Oxford University Press. Available here. (Originally published in German in 1919.)



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