[Launch of the DILEMA lecture series] Rebecca Crootof on ‘Artificial intelligence, autonomous weapon systems, and accidents in war’

Published 5 November 2020

US drone attack on the convoy of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, 3d render. Baghdad airport, Iraq (©iStock)


The DILEMA Project, led by Asser senior researcher Dr Berenice Boutin, is launching a new lecture series on legal, ethical, and technical perspectives on human agency over military Artificial Intelligence (AI). The DILEMA lecture series invites academics and other experts working on legal, ethical, and technical perspectives on military artificial intelligence (AI) to present their work and share reflections with researchers, students and professionals. The first lecture will take place on 1 December (17.00 CET / 11.00 EST). Register here to join the launch of this exciting new lecture series. 

The DILEMA lecture series will encompass a variety of topics including technical perspectives on military applications of AI, philosophical enquires into human control and human agency over technologies, analyses of international law in relation to (military) AI, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and interdisciplinary contributions related to these topics.

On Tuesday 1 December 2020 (17.00 CET / 11.00 EST), Dr Rebecca Crootof (University of Richmond School of Law) will deliver the inaugural lecture of the DILEMA Lecture Series. She will address the topic of ‘Artificial intelligence, autonomous weapon systems, and accidents in war’. To read more and register for this event, click here.

The next DILEMA lecture will take place on Monday 22 February 2021 (16.00 CET / 15.00 GMT). Dr William H. Boothby (Australian National University) will speak on the topic of ‘Remote, autonomous weapons and human agency’. More information including registration details will be available soon. Please stay tuned to the Asser website and social media channels. 

About the DILEMA project

The DILEMA project explores interdisciplinary perspectives on military applications of artificial intelligence (AI), with a focus on legal, ethical, and technical perspectives on safeguarding human agency over military AI. It analyses in particular subtle ways in which AI can affect or reduce human agency, and seeks to ensure compliance with international law and accountability by design. It investigates why it is essential to safeguard human agency over certain functions and activities, where it is most critical to maintain the role of human agents, and how to technically ensure that military technologies are designed and deployed in line with ethical and legal frameworks.  

The project is led by Dr Berenice Boutin (Asser Institute). The project team includes Professor Terry Gill (University of Amsterdam), Professor Tom van Engers (University of Amsterdam; TNO), Taylor Woodcock (Asser Institute, PhD researcher), and Klaudia Klonowska (Asser Institute, Junior researcher). The project is funded by NWO–MVI Programme on Responsible Innovation. It started in September 2020 and will run for four years. 

For more information, see the project’s website.