[Public panel] How to design and regulate for effective human-machine interaction in military AI?

Published 14 February 2023


How to design and regulate for effective human-machine interaction in the context of military decision-support systems? That is the topic of a public panel, organised by the Asser Institute’s trailblazing DILEMA research project on responsible military AI, during the REAIM summit in The World Forum in The Hague. This first international summit on responsible AI in the military domain on 15 – 16 February is organised by the Netherlands.  

On Wednesday 15 February, the DILEMA panel discussion, moderated by senior researcher Berenice Boutin, will focus on Decision-Support Systems (DSS) and Human-Machine Interaction (HMI). The topics builds on the DILEMA’s team ongoing research and interim findings. Register now for the summit and attend the session. 

International policy discussions around military applications of AI have heavily focused on autonomous weapon systems (AWS), while other existing and potential uses of AI in the military domain have received less attention. In particular, the increasing deployment of decision-support systems (DSS) raises a number of critical legal, ethical, and technical challenges.

DSS are AI-based tools aimed at supporting and facilitating military decision-making based on the collection and analysis of large amounts of data. Due to their characteristics and functions, as well as the circumstances and context in which they are deployed in military operations, DSS raise important questions regarding human-machine interaction (HMI).

As highlighted in the GGE LAWS Guiding Principles: “Human-machine interaction, which may take various forms and be implemented at various stages [...] should ensure that the potential use of [...] systems based on emerging technologies [...] is in compliance with applicable international law, in particular IHL”. 

Key question
The DILEMA public panel during the REAIM summit on Wednesday 15 February seeks to develop insights on how to implement human-machine interaction in the context of decision-support systems. The key question guiding the discussion is: How to ensure an adequate “quality and extent of human-machine interaction” in relation to DSS, in particular to ensure compliance with international law?

In order to answer this question, a multi-disciplinary group of experts will discuss how the use of DSS can erode the exercise of human control, and reconfigures the role and place of human decision-making and human agency. Furthermore, the session will explore the implications of the discussion on DSS and HMI for the design and regulation of such systems. Indeed, a solid understanding of the relationship between humans and technology is necessary to set requirements for the engineering of DSS and to develop regulatory frameworks that effectively address the challenges of AI.


  • Dr Berenice Boutin (moderator), Senior Researcher in International Law (Asser Institute), DILEMA Project Leader
  • Neil Davison, Senior Scientific & Policy Adviser, Arms & Conduct of Hostilities Unit, Legal Division, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Dr Jurriaan van Diggelen, Senior Researcher in Military Human-Machine Teaming (TNO), ELSA Lab Defence Project Leader
  • Klaudia Klonowska, Researcher in International Law (Asser Institute), PhD Candidate (University of Amsterdam)
  • Dr Gregor Pavlin, Senior Scientist & Program Manager (Thales Nederland B.V.)
  • Taylor Woodcock (rapporteur), Researcher in International Law (Asser Institute), PhD Candidate (University of Amsterdam)

Register now to attend the session. 

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