AI in Defence

An event organised by the European Liberal Forum (ELF). Supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Co-funded by the European Parliament.



Leopold Hotel, Rue du Luxemburg 35, 1040 Brussels

21st November 2019, 12.00-14.00


Autonomy in Weapon Systems is not a new phenomenon. Some armed forces have been using it already for decades, for example in ship mounted anti-missile systems. However, the recent progress in civilian research has driven innovation in the field of autonomous weapons and gives armed forces the opportunity to utilize artificial intelligence in a wide range of offensive and mobile systems. This development provides a huge potential for European defence initiatives like the prestigious Franco-German next generation fighter jet project (FCAS).

However, it also gives cause for serious concern and raises fundamental questions in the fields of security politics and ethics. How can the international community define autonomy in weapon systems effectively? Which functions can autonomous weapon systems perform without violating fundamental principles of humanity? How can the European Union take a successful stance on AI in weapon systems and where should lawmakers draw red lines?

Join us and discuss these and other questions with our speakers.







11:30    Registration Open


12:00    Lunch


12.30    Welcome

Airis Meier, Member of the board, ELF


12.35    Setting the stage

AI in Weapon Systems Explained – What it is and What it is not

Dr. Frank Sauer, Senior Researcher, University of the Federal Armed Forces, Munich


12:50    Discussion: How to Embrace Innovation without Jeopardizing Ethical Standards

Dr. Frank Sauer, Senior Researcher, University of the Federal Armed Forces, Munich


Nathalie Loiseau, MEP, Chair of the SEDE subcommittee, Renew Europe


Dr. Hannah Neumann, MEP, Greens/EFA


Dr. Raluca Csernatoni, Researcher, Carnegie Europe


Moderator: Sebastian Vagt, European Affairs Manager, FNF