Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

ELSA Lab Defence

Embedding ethical legal and societal aspects for responsible military AI.

2022 - 2027
Henning Lahmann
NWA concerning Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The ELSA Lab Defence is a 4-year research project commissioned by the National Research Council in the Netherlands on the ethical, legal and societal aspects of AI in defence. The project aims to develop a future-proof, independent and consultative ecosystem for the responsible use of AI in the defence domain. In doing so, the ELSA Lab Defence will develop a methodology for context-dependent analysis, design, and evaluation of ethical, legal, and societal aspects of military AI-based applications, including unmanned aircraft. It builds upon existing methods for value-sensitive design, explainable algorithms, and human-machine teaming. These methods are adapted to the specific defence context by conducting representative case studies, such as the use of (semi-)autonomous robots and AI-based methods against cognitive warfare. The lab also studies how defence personnel and society at large perceive the use of military AI, how this perception evolves over time, and how it changes in various contexts. Additionally, the ELSA Lab Defence monitors global technological, military, and societal developments that could influence perception.

Funding information

This Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) call concerning Artificial Intelligence (AI) focuses on research into the regulation, development, assessment and implementation of human-centred AI. This requires that technological developments are studied in relation to ethical, legal, societal and economic aspects (ELSA) based on case studies in different public domains.

For more information, see the project website: https://elsalabdefence.nl/

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