Larry Lewis, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Autonomy and AI


Larry Lewis is the Director of the Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence at CNA. His areas of expertise include lethal autonomy, reducing civilian casualties, identifying lessons from current operations, security assistance, and counterterrorism.

Lewis spent a decade analyzing real world operations as the project lead and primary author for many of DOD's Joint Lessons Learned studies. For example, he was the lead analyst and co-author (with Dr. Sarah Sewall) for the Joint Civilian Casualty Study (JCCS) in support of GEN Petraeus, GEN McChrystal, and ADM Olson (SOCOM); GEN Petraeus described the study as "the first comprehensive assessment of the problem of civilian protection." His other areas of expertise include counterinsurgency and high value targeting in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Colombia, and elsewhere. In addition, he authored the 2012 "Lessons from a Decade of War" report for CJCS. He also served as senior advisor to the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and was on the U.S. delegation to the CCW regarding Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS).

Lewis has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Rice University.


April 12, 2018

Larry Lewis says, "You can actually create better humanitarian outcomes with AI."

CNA: "CNA Expert Speaks to U.N. Representatives About Lethal Autonomous Weapons"

April 12, 2018

At the U.N. Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), Dr. Larry Lewis warned that human intervention at the "trigger pull" will not eliminate the risks of autonomous weapons. Read more.

April 10, 2018

Larry Lewis says, "Rather than focusing on the human control in the final engagement decision, the U.N. should develop a comprehensive safety net woven from existing best practices."

CNA: "Building a Safety Net for Autonomous Weapons"

April 10, 2018

A new CNA report by Dr. Larry Lewis recommends a comprehensive approach on lethal autonomous weapons to limit civilian casualties. Read more.

March 22, 2018

Larry Lewis writes, "Many groups recommend steps for the U.S. military to bolster its own capabilities to detect civilian casualties post-strike or to work more closely with independent groups to better consider external information to complement its assessments."

Just Security: "Civilian Casualties: We Need Better Estimates—Not Just Better Numbers"

February 21, 2018

Larry Lewis says, "What we are doing in our new center is looking at how to prepare for the future of war and make things a little less scary."

WSVA: "Dr. Larry Lewis-Artificial Intelligence and Warmaking"