Artificial Intelligence – A Challenging Realm for Regulating Space Activities

Anne Sophie Martin, Steven R. Freeland

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has the capacity to reshape all domains of our society. The advent of intelligent “Things” has contributed to new and (potentially) attractive and innovative business models, namely for space activities. Indeed, space agencies and industries are designing space missions with AI components, and space programmes increasingly rely on machine intelligence and assistance to launch, operate, maintain, control, repair and ensure the ongoing operation of space objects. However, the absence of comprehensive regulation in this field creates uncertainties, and the development of AI policies at the international, regional and national levels might therefore serve to guide future law regarding AI in space. In this context, this article analyses the diverse AI policies adopted by various institutions and States, particularly those playing a significant role in space activities. We consider how these policies could be adapted to space activities, for instance through Transparency and Confidence Building Measures, in order to clarify the intent of States and to avoid misunderstandings. We then assess the suitability of the main principles that currently apply to outer space to create an appropriate legal framework for regulating the use of AI in
future space missions.

Reproduced with permission
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-306
JournalAnnals of Air and Space Law
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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