Wrap-Up: Humanitarian Drones WorkshopResponsible Design and Deployment of Humanitarian Drones
On March 7th and 8th, the Foundation for Responsible Robotics and the Harvard Humanitarian Initative hosted a two-day workshop, bringing together leading experts in the areas of humanitarian response aid, robotics and AI, crisis response management, ethics, and peace management to build on the 2014 UN OCHA report on the use of drones in humanitarian contexts. The aim was to draft a follow-up report that addresses the state-of- the-art in robotics currently deployed alongside the ethical, practical, and human rights issues initiated through this deployment. To accomplish this, the FRR has created a working group to further work on this document, and hopes to publish it in the near future. We are lucky to have a number of panelists, found below, as part of this working group.
The first day was open to the public and broken into four main panels. The first, moderated by Nathanial Raymond (HHI) set the stage, focusing on current challenges of this historical moment, diagnosis of how drones are being used in humanitarian contexts, problems and benefits. The second panel, moderated by Professor Noel Sharkey, focused on the role of industry in regulating humanitarian practices. The third, moderated by Faine Greenwood (HHI), focused on moving forward and attempted to answer the questions of: what are best practices, what are worse case scenarios, what is the role of academia/industry/policy-makers in achieving best practices? The fourth and final panel, moderated by our own Dr. Aimee van Wynsberghe, sought to define the goals for the document. The discussion focused on what has been delivered so far in policy recommendations, what gaps are
there in the current recommendations, why such gaps exist, as well as how to overcome them.
We extend our thanks to all those who participated. Please stay tuned for more updates!
Humanitarian Specialist (UNFPA)
Senior Policy Advisor (UNICRI)
Founder (Wings for Aid)
Arthur de Crook
FSD (Swiss Foundation for Mine Action)
Speculative Hardware Advisor (UNICEF)
Vice President (ISCRAM)