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ZH Center for Military Medical Ethics

CfP : Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Ethics in Military and Humanitarian Healthcare

The ICMM Center of Reference for Education on IHL and Ethics in cooperation with the Medical Services Directorate of the Swiss Armed Forces and the ZH Center for Military Medical Ethics at Zurich University convene their joint 13th Workshop on Military Medical Ethics.
20-22 June 2024 | Hybrid Workshop | Hotel du Léman, Jongny (Switzerland)



Technologies of so-called “Artificial Intelligence” and the use of “Big Data” both come with promises of a huge potential to influence our future. Their use will almost certainly have far-reaching consequences in many domains of our lives. This is obviously true for both military uses (e.g., autonomous weapons, selection of targets) as well as in the practice of medicine (e.g., diagnosis assistants, robotic surgery). In the domain of military and humanitarian healthcare, it remains to be seen whether the effects of AI and Big Data will be more like the opening Pandora’s box or whether they can fulfil the promise for better healthcare in difficult circumstances. Although AI and Big Data can simplify and improve a wide range of processes, their application can also raise significant ethical challenges.

Since guidelines and legal frameworks for the use of AI and Big Data have yet to be developed and implemented, our workshop wants to offer its platform to discuss ethical issues related to these new technologies and analyze some of the ethical challenges related to their use in military and humanitarian healthcare. Our workshop shall provide an opportunity to shed light on and discuss the topic from a variety of perspectives. Presentations could cover topics within the following list but need not be restricted to it.

  • Automated decision-making and responsibility (human in/out of the loop) both in military and in medical contexts (e.g., selection of targets or triage assistants)
  • Ethical questions related to data: gaining data, using data, storing and keeping data, as well as data protection
  • Biases in data and their effects
  • Dangers of dual use/ misuse of technologie
  • Effects of non-human decision-making on the applicability of IHL

We equally encourage field reports (e.g., case studies, experience briefings, policy analyses) as well as philosophical papers and legal background analyses. In line with the tradition of the workshop series, we invite presentations that take the perspectives or speak to both military and humanitarian health care providers.


For further information feel free to contact Daniel Messelken (

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