(b) Autonomy

Publisher: European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, European Commission

The principle of autonomy implies the freedom of the human being. This translates into human responsibility and thus control over and knowledge about ‘autonomous’ systems as they must not impair freedom of human beings to set their own standards and norms and be able to live according to them. All ‘autonomous’ technologies must, hence, honour the human ability to choose whether, when and how to delegate decisions and actions to them. This also involves the transparency and predictability of ‘autonomous’ systems, without which users would not be able to intervene or terminate them if they would consider this morally required.