Prof Nehal Bhuta

Artificial Intelligence and the International Rule of Law

Prof Nehal Bhuta is collaborating with Prof Christopher Johnson (University of Glasgow), Dr Liz McFall (University of Edinburgh), Dr Mark Sprevak (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Rebecca Sutton (University of Edinburgh).

This series of three multi-disciplinary, problem-focused research workshops will explore the relationship between international law and emerging applications of artificial intelligence (AI). The workshops will focus on the following three areas:

  • AI and the battlefield
  • AI and welfare policy
  • AI and refugee determination and border control

These are areas in which fundamental human values are at stake – decisions over life and death in war, minimum standards of social protection and the legal entitlement to asylum from persecution and conflict. If AI is to help us in these areas then we must ensure that it is capable of being used in accordance with basic global norms.

The workshops will explore a number of questions. First, how can legal rules (that have been written for humans) be operationalised for use in an AI system? Secondly, to what extent should human operators act as checks on the AI system’s behaviour? Thirdly, how can we help human operators understand their legal duties when working with an AI system? Finally, how should we understand accountability when the AI system makes an error in its decision-making? Each workshop will consider case studies based on actual-existing AI technology or in-development platforms. This will enable participants to investigate how the AI technology works and how human are expected to interact with it. This will then open up deeper discussions about the place of law, the role of human judgment, and the design of frameworks for accountability.

The first workshop, concerning AI and refugee determination and border control, will be held on 16th and 17th March 2020. Participants include policy makers, computer scientists, technologists, industry representatives and scholars from across disciplines (law, informatics, philosophy, social science and sociology).

The workshops will create an interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral and international network to help build on Scotland’s world-leading information technology development capacity by addressing the legal and ethical challenges of AI.

Awarded: Carnegie Research Workshops Grants

Field: Law

University: University of Edinburgh

Latest News