Responsible AI Through Conceptual Engineering

Johannes Himmelreich, Sebastian Köhler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The advent of intelligent artificial systems has sparked a dispute about the question of who is responsible when such a system causes a harmful outcome. This paper champions the idea that this dispute should be approached as a conceptual engineering problem. Towards this claim, the paper first argues that the dispute about the responsibility gap problem is in part a conceptual dispute about the content of responsibility and related concepts. The paper then argues that the way forward is to evaluate the conceptual choices we have, in the light of a systematic understanding of why the concept is important in the first place—in short, the way forward is to engage in conceptual engineering. The paper then illustrates what approaching the responsibility gap problem as a conceptual engineering problem looks like. It outlines argumentative pathways out of the responsibility gap problem and relates these to existing contributions to the dispute.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number60
JournalPhilosophy and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Conceptual engineering
  • Ethics of AI
  • Moral responsibility
  • Responsibility gap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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