LaPfAMS 2013

Law and Policy for Autonomous Military Systems Workshop
European University Institute in Florence, Italy, 06/03/2013

The meeting will bring together a small select group of experts from a variety of backgrounds to discuss the law and policy implications potentially raised by the future development and use of autonomous military systems. The purpose of this workshop is to set the agenda for a future long term research project by identifying and refining the key questions from among the plethora of issues and concerns that these technologies might raise. As such, the conclusions drawn from this workshop will shape both the direction and content of future research in this area that will be conducted at the Institute. 

topics of interest
  • Technological State-of-the-Art
    • Understanding the technological capabilities and limitations related to current and projected near-future autonomous military systems will be the foundation of any sophisticated discussion on relevant law and policy. As such, this transfer of knowledge is a key aim of the workshop.
  • Terminology and classification of autonomous military systems
    • A precursor to discussing autonomous military systems is to establish the terminology with which to articulate the phenomena because of the implications which are attached to the labels. Taxonomies capable of differentiating between categories of these emerging military technologies need to be developed, along with their identifying characteristics.
  • Incorporating appropriate rules and regulation
    • In addition to revisiting the ongoing debate about the feasibility of incorporating legal obligations into computer code, and whether artificial systems will be capable of adhering to legal requirements, there is the question of what the appropriate content of those laws should be. Existing legal regimes may be inadequate or insufficient given the enhanced capabilities promised by autonomous military systems.
  • Autonomy, responsibility and accountability
    • The potential use of force by autonomous military systems raises fundamental issues of responsibility and accountability urgently in need of resolution. While the use of force must be accompanied by the possibility of accountability for the consequences, these systems cannot readily be held accountable for their behaviour and may furthermore affect the ability of proximate humans to bear responsibility as well.
  • Civilian involvement and direct participation in hostilities
    • With heavy reliance upon technological innovation, autonomous military systems are likely to involve civilians in all stages of design, development, maintenance, and use, raising a plethora of issues that require consideration.
  •  Implications before and beyond the battlespace
    • Autonomous military systems are likely to have subtle, yet pervasive effects beyond the immediate battlespace. The law and policy implications associated with the decision to deploy force, as well as transitional and post-conflict issues must also be considered.
works as
hosting event for talk
page_white_powerpointAutonomy, Interaction & Complexity in Computational Systems. Preliminary Notes (LaPfAMS 2013, 06/03/2013) — Andrea Omicini (Andrea Omicini)