The independent resource on global security

Workshop: Autonomous technologies and their societal impact

Robot arm

SIPRI, Signalistgatan 9, 169 72 Solna, Sweden

SIPRI and the IEEE will host a workshop on autonomous technologies and their societal impact. It aims to bring together researchers, practitioners and agencies and will focus on topics relevant to laws, regulations and issues from a European perspective.

The workshop will include discussions on autonomous systems that require further attention in terms of their impact—both positive and negative—on humanity and society. Emphasis will be placed not only on technology and public policy issues, but also on environmental, cultural, structural, political and socio-economic factors.

Featured speakers:

  • Patrik Stensson, Swedish Armed Forces (SE), Autonomy and human–machine interaction: On the psychosocial consequences of advanced automation
  • Merel Ekelhof, VU University Amsterdam (NL), Effects of the use of autonomous weapons on the targeting process
  • Camilla Waszink, International Law and Policy Institute (NO), Legal challenges posed by the use of autonomous weapons
  • Elena Finckh, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (DE), Autonomous weapons: Challenges and prospects of arms control discussions at the United Nations
  • Alan Winfield, University of Bristol (UK), Ethical governance is needed to build trust
  • Ludovic Righetti, Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (CH), The role of scientists in the debate on autonomous technologies
  • Barbara Bottalico, University of Pavia (IT), Workplace technological innovation, what role for the law?
  • Gurvinder Virk, Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (SE), Autonomous technologies, the role of regulations


This is the second workshop in the new IEEE Future Directions Committee (FDC) incubation project, Autonomous Technologies and their Societal Impact. The first workshop in the series was held on 20 June and focused on issues relevant to North America.

The Autonomous Technologies and their Societal Impact project is aiming to bring together industry, academia and government to understand the current and future implications of autonomous technologies via workshops and discussions featuring leaders and experts in technological, legal and public policy fields. Based on the discussions from these workshops, a White Paper consisting of ‘valid’ and ‘balanced’ concerns around technology and public policy issues will be published towards the end of 2016. The findings and summaries will be made available via the FDC website to act as a reference guide to foster further discussions within the community.

Registration information

Please confirm your participation by sending an email with your name and full affiliation to Maaike Verbruggen, Research Assistant (

Event contact (SIPRI)
Event contact (external)

Dr Raj Madhavan, Founder & CEO, Humanitarian Robotics Technologies, USA and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Robotics, AMMACHI Labs, Amrita University, India. Email: