Roundtable: International Governance of Military AI: The Way ForwardPublished 3 October 2023
On Tuesday 28 November 2023 at 17:00, the DILEMA project is organising a Roundtable on ‘International Governance of Military AI: The Way Forward’. The event will discuss ongoing initiatives for the governance of military AI at the international and regional levels, and explore the role of existing legal regimes in guiding the development and acquisition of military AI.
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As artificial intelligence (AI) technologies fast develop, the question of the regulation and governance of their potential applications in the military domain raises crucial challenges. This roundtable will promote discussion and exchanges amongst experts from both academia and policy, as well as with the general public, in order to move forward the debate on international governance of military AI.
In the past decade, multilateral discussions on the challenges of emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapon systems have taken place in Geneva in the context of the meetings of the Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. Although useful to seek a global common understanding and reach some consensus on the regulation and governance of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) and other applications of AI in the military domain, these debates have progressed relatively slowly. At the same time, technological capabilities keep progressing, and an increasing number of States are actively developing and using AI technologies in a military context.
As the topic of international governance of military applications of AI becomes ever pressing, other initiatives have more recently emerged. In 2023, the Government of the Netherlands launched the REAIM initiative on Responsible Artificial Intelligence in the Military Domain, which seeks to achieve global agreement on the way forward in relation to the governance of military AI. The same year, a regional initiative led by Latin American and the Caribbean countries resulted in the Belén Communiqué, which calls for ‘urgent negotiation of an international legally binding instrument, with prohibitions and regulations with regard to autonomy in weapons systems, in order to ensure compliance with International Law’.
The aim of this roundtable is two-fold. First, it seeks to take stock of the ongoing initiatives for the governance of military AI at the international and regional levels, and to engage in a discussion on how to move the debate forward in order to achieve the goal of developing global governance frameworks for military AI. Second, it aims to explore the role of existing and established legal regimes in guiding the development and acquisition of military AI, with a focus on ensuring compliance prior to any harmful use.
- Daan Kayser (PAX): Overview of the international processes and initiatives on the regulation and governance of AWS, and thoughts on a possible normative framework
- Dr. Bérénice Boutin (Asser Institute): The duty of states to respect and ensure respect with international law in the design, development, and adoption of military AI
- Dr. Machiko Kanetake (Utrecht University): Due diligence and corporate liability of the defence industry
- Chair: Prof. Marten Zwanenburg (University of Amsterdam and Netherlands Defence Academy)
17:00 – 17:05 Opening
17:05 – 17:45 Presentations by the speakers
17:45 – 18:20 Discussion and Q&A
18:20 – 19:00 Reception
- REAIM 2023 Call to Action
- Bérénice Boutin, ‘State Responsibility in Relation to Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence’, 36(1) Leiden Journal of International Law, pp. 133-150 (2023)
- Bérénice Boutin, Klaudia Klonowska, Magdalena Pacholska, Sadjad Soltanzadeh, Taylor Woodcock, Tomasz Zurek, ‘DILEMA Statement on the Global Governance of Artificial Intelligence in the Military’ (January 2023)
- Machiko Kanetake, Cedric Ryngaert, ‘Due diligence and corporate liability of the defence industry: Arms exports, end use and corporate responsibility’ (2023) Report, Flemish Peace Institute