[Registrations open] Spring academy on artificial intelligence and international law

Published 30 November 2023

@Shutterstock - Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly present in almost all sectors of society.

Registrations are open for our popular spring academy on Artificial Intelligence and international law, which will take place in the week of 22-26 April. This innovative and thought-provoking one-week training programme, launched in 2019, will provide you with insights into the current and future issues raised by AI technologies from the perspective of international law and related disciplines. Register soon, as seats are limited!

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly present in almost all sectors of our society. From public sector applications in security, healthcare, welfare, or justice, to everyday uses for commercial targeting, transportation or household appliances; AI innovation is advancing at a very fast pace.

AI brings many promises but also innumerable complex challenges. In particular, AI technologies are challenging to fundamental legal norms and systems of international . How can we ensure that AI is developed and adopted in a way that respects and promotes individual rights? Why should we maintain human agency over AI technologies, and how will achieve this? How should we address the use of AI in warfare? How can we allocate responsibility for harms resulting from the use of AI? Are existing legal norms and foundational concepts able to grasp and address the complexities of AI? How can we develop and implement international frameworks for the governance of AI? These are some of the questions that will be discussed at the 2024 Spring Academy on Artificial Intelligence and International Law

Programme description
The spring academy offers in-depth knowledge and perspectives on AI and international law. It addresses fundamental issues at the intersection of theory and practice, and provides a platform to engage with the diverging perspectives in the key emerging debates. The programme is structured around five themes:

  • Understanding AI
  • AI and human rights
  • AI in warfare
  • Current challenges
  • International governance of AI

The programme’s sessions are delivered by experts in the field, both from academia and from practice. The programme is updated each year to feature latest developments and new research in the field.

The spring academy is coordinated by Bérénice Boutin and Jonathan Kwik.

Dr Bérénice Boutin is senior researcher in international law at the Asser Institute, Coordinator of the research strand on Disruptive Technologies in Peace and Security, and project leader of the NWO-funded  project Designing International Law and Ethics into Military Artificial Intelligence (DILEMA). Her research explores the mutual impacts between new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, and international law. This includes the role of international law in the governance and regulation of technologies, and the impact of new technologies on core notions and concepts of international law.

Jonathan Kwik is a researcher at the Asser Institute, attached to the ELSA Lab project. His specialisation is in the laws governing the conduct of hostilities and artificial intelligence (AI). He wrote his doctoral dissertation at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam on the lawful use of AI-embedded weapon systems at the operational level. He holds a Master of Laws degree (cum laude) from the University of Groningen in international criminal law and criminology, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Groningen in international law.

 Reviews from previous editions 

‘This intensive course was a fantastic deep-dive into a wide range of current issues at the intersection of AI and international law... The discussions were rich and fairly sophisticated compared to those I have been a part of at other avenues, probably due to the richness of the diversity of the participants.’

‘I thought the course was excellent. The spread of expertise and the cross-disciplinary approach meant that everyone was able to learn from other people and share their own knowledge, which I think led to a richer experience than it would have been otherwise. I really enjoyed being able to learn from these different perspectives. I also thought the international approach was beneficial both in terms of the lecturers and in terms of the participants’.

‘It was very insightful and I learned a lot from experts in the field and got to meet super interesting fellow winter academy member colleagues’.