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Responsible Military Use of Artificial Intelligence: Can the European Union Lead the Way in Developing Best Practice?

Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
November, 2020

The military use of artificial intelligence (AI) has become the focus of great power competition. In 2019, several European Union (EU) member states called for greater collaboration between EU member states on the topic of AI in defence. This report explores why the EU and its member states would benefit politically, strategically and economically from developing principles and standards for the responsible military use of AI. It maps what has already been done on the topic and how further expert discussions within the EU on legal compliance, ethics and technical safety could be conducted. The report offers concrete ways for the EU and its member states to work towards common principles and best practices for the responsible military use of AI. 


1. Introduction

2. The European Union and the responsible military use of artificial intelligence

3. The European Union as a leader in best practices

4. Key findings and recommendations


Dr Vincent Boulanin is Director of the Governance of Artificial Intelligence Programme at SIPRI.
Netta Goussac was an Associate Senior Researcher within SIPRI’s Armament and Disarmament research area.
Laura Bruun is a Researcher in the SIPRI Governance of Artificial Intelligence Programme.
Luke Richards was a Research Assistant working on emerging military and security technologies.