DILEMA-HILAC Lecture by Dustin A. Lewis

Published 29 May 2024

On 11 July 2024 at 16:00, Dustin A. Lewis (Harvard Law School) will deliver a DILEMA-HILAC lecture on the topic of ‘Natural and Artificial Intelligence in Armed Conflict: Exploring Settled and Open Legal Questions’. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by Taylor Woodcock (DILEMA Project).

Click here to register for this event. The lecture will be in hybrid format, with attendance possible either in-person at the Asser Institute or online.


A growing number of States are reportedly preparing to use, or have already employed, in armed conflicts various techniques and methods derived from the science of artificial intelligence and associated fields. The range of applications spans diverse activities, functions, and authorities, including in such areas as the conduct of hostilities, detention, humanitarian services, and legal advice. These developments might amplify or transform existing concerns — and potentially raise new ones — regarding linkages concerning decision-making and judgment in war, accountability, and the legal regulation of armed conflict. Against that backdrop, this lecture will seek to frame, identify, and evaluate certain key settled and open legal questions regarding natural and artificial intelligence in armed conflict.

About the Speaker

Dustin A. Lewis is the Research Director for the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (HLS PILAC). With a focus on public international law sources and methods, he leads research into several wide-ranging contemporary challenges related to securing peace, protecting civilians, regulating hostilities, supporting humanitarian services, safeguarding the environment, and ending armed conflicts. In addition to managing the program’s research, publications, and online platforms, Dustin regularly briefs governments, United Nations-system actors, scholars, members of the media, and NGOs. Since 2014, he has supervised over 150 research assistants. An honors graduate of Harvard College and Utrecht University School of Law, Dustin is also currently an Associate Senior Researcher in the Governance of Artificial Intelligence Program at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

About the DILEMA Lecture Series

The DILEMA Lecture Series regularly invites academics and other experts working on issues related to the project to present their work and share reflections with a general audience comprising researchers, students, and professionals. Topics of interest within the scope of this lecture series include 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.

About the HILAC Lecture Series

The Hague Initiative for Law and Armed Conflict (HILAC) Lecture Series is an occasional lecture series on the subject of law and armed conflict organized by the Asser Institute since 2005, in cooperation with the Netherlands Red Cross and the Amsterdam Center for International Law, and held at the Asser Institute.