Marco Manuel Marsili Wick

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LEDI - Lawful Emerging and Disruptive Technologies and Warfare
Consistency with International Law and further Considerations and Implications
An Initiative 4 Peace+Justice by Marco Marsili at Cà Foscari University of Venice

LEDI logo by Gioia Ghezzo@Communication and Institutional Promotion Office, Graphic Design and Printing Unit, Cà Foscari University of Venice.

/ About LEDI: An Initiative 4 Peace+Justice

Project abstract

Science fiction pictured conflicts fought in outer space and conceived scenarios with artificial intelligence and self-learning machines that mimic humans. Sometimes science fiction offers imaginative solutions for the future. Technology is the key driver of warfare and blurs the traditional boundaries. Technological innovations have legal, ethical and moral implications. This project aims to check the compliance of (military) emerging & disruptive technologies (EDTs)[1] with international law (IL), international humanitarian law (IHL), international human rights law (IHRL)[2] and ethical standards in an altered geopolitical environment. The project comprises technologies that are distinctly military in nature and not civilian in application, usually because they lack useful or legal civilian applications, and civilian innovations that have been put to military use. EDTs are increasingly touching all aspects of life and have a profound impact on defence, security and civilian society. EDTs have a rapid and major effect on technologies that already exist and disrupt or overturn traditional business methods and practices and may revolutionise governmental structures, economies and international security. The research will scrutinise whether new rules are required, or if current rules are valid and can be used/adapted, and will formulate recommendations for policymakers, lawmakers and military leaders. The research topic involves main cross-cutting issues (the rule of law, fundamental human rights and ethical principles) and therefore requires an interdisciplinary approach: history, political science, political philosophy, sociology, law, ethics, neuroscience, robotics and computer science. The research aims to create new knowledge and to contribute to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow. Because the future is now, this timely research aims to understand the present and to imagine future scenarios – that’s why it’s important.

[1] EDTs include: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), hypersonic weapons, directed-energy weapons (DEWs)/laser & photonic weapons, robotics, automation, unmanned autonomous systems (UAS), semi-autonomous systems, big data, microelectronics, quantum computing/science, cloud computing, deep learning, computer vision algorithms, virtual & augmented reality (VR & AR), 5G networks, biotechnology, space, and other technologies.

[2] For the purpose of this research, we refer to IL, IHL and IHRL simply as ‘IL’ as a whole.

/ Funding acknowledgment

Project funding

The LEDI Project (Ref. SOE_0000045) received funding from the European Union – Next Generation EU (NGEU) National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) – Mission 4 Component 2, Investment 1.2 – CUP No. H73C22001290001. The selected project was awarded in the framework of proposals presented by young researchers under the call “Young ResearchersSeal of Excellence (SOE)“. Cà Foscari University of Venice Website page about the project.