Introduction to the Symposium: How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect International Law?
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
This symposium explores ways in which developments in artificial intelligence (AI) will affect the substance of international law, and, conversely, how international law may guide states' decisions to deploy AI. Even though AI increasingly is penetrating commercial, military, and scientific arenas, states have been slow to create new international agreements or to amend existing ones to catch up to these technological developments. Nevertheless, AI is certain to produce changes in the areas of human rights, the use of force, transnational law enforcement, global health, intellectual property regimes, and international labor law, among others. This symposium gets down to the hard work of assessing the gaps, ambiguities, and guidance in existing treaties and customary rules and begins to sketch a road map forward. In so doing, the essays offer an important lesson to international lawyers: that it is critically important — both for those who work for governments and those who wish to influence state decisions from the outside — to understand the basics of these technologies.