SAS2018 SMCWorkshop 1024x268Aug5


IEEE Symbiotic Autonomous Systems
Fostering Technology, Ethics, Public Policy, and Societal Enablers

Full-day WS @ 2018 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC 2018)
9 October 2018 | Miyazaki, Japan

PDF Download Workshop Overview (PDF, 360 KB)

ORGANIZERS: Raj Madhavan and Francesco Flammini

Economic and societal forces, enabled by the evolution and convergence of several technologies, are driving the development of a novel generation of systems. Today, we are at a crossroads, on the cusp of significant transformative changes that will impact society worldwide, revolutionizing global business operations and fundamentally altering how inanimate objects are perceived in a world increasingly reliant on autonomous systems. A key outcome of this transformation will be a notable shift in the interaction of previously independent systems, including humans, and an increased awareness and responsiveness to autonomous systems that will lead to the development of symbiotic relationships that have significant implications for human society as a whole.

The IEEE, with cooperation from its operational units having strong technology roots in pursuing the development of technologies for the benefit of humanity, is ideally positioned to play a major role in this revolution. The IEEE Future Directions Symbiotic Autonomous Systems (SAS) Initiative is taking a leadership role in fostering consensus on how best to bring about symbiotic relationships between autonomous systems, and capitalize on the recognition that SAS are poised to have a revolutionary impact on society over the coming years. Collaborating with IEEE communities and global organizations conducting ongoing efforts in the area of autonomous and intelligent systems, the Initiative will facilitate the development of a new field of Symbiotic Systems Science (SSS) to consolidate and advance technological expertise with emphasis on ethical, legal, and societal (ELS) implications, and with the objective to promote human-centric economic growth. Additional details are available from

The proposed full-day WS will allow for the discussion of the implementations and implications of symbiotic autonomous systems. In addition to technical aspects, important factors such as socio-economic issues and public policy requirements need to be taken into consideration. To address these concerns, the WS will take on the above issues centered on the following two themes

  • Theme #1: Enabling Technologies and Existing Gaps
  • Theme #2: Ethical, Legal, and Societal Considerations

Topic areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Applications of technologies that constitute the building blocks for a next generation of SAS
  • Integration of new technology approaches paving the way for a new field of SSS
  • Regulation and governance aspects that arise through the development and deployment of these technologies
  • Economic and market implications (e.g. the future of work)
  • Privacy, Safety, and Security implications
  • Standards and best practices
  • AI/Deep learning
  • Sensors/biosensors and actuators, and smart materials
  • Wireless communications/5G
  • IoT

The WS is anticipated to have the following (tentative) schedule divided into the following two sessions:

  • Session 1: 9:30 AM–12:30 PM (1 Keynote + 4 Technical Talks + Q&A + Discussion #1)
  • Session 2: 1:30 PM–5:30 PM (1 Keynote + 6 Technical Talks + Q&A + Discussion #2)

Confirmed Speakers

Christopher Nemeth PhD April 2014
Christopher Nemeth, PhD, CHFP, is a Principal Scientist with Applied Research Associates, a 1200 member national science and engineering consulting firm. His recent research interests include technical work in complex high stakes settings, research methods in individual and distributed cognition, and understanding how information technology erodes or enhances system resilience. He has served as a committee member of the National Academy of Sciences, is widely published in technical journals, and his books include Human Factors Methods for Design (Taylor and Francis/CRC Press), as well as Ashgate Publishing texts Improving Healthcare Team Communication, and Resilience Engineering Perspectives Series Volume One-Remaining Sensitive to the Possibility of Failure and Volume Two-Preparation and Restoration, and the Ashgate Resilience Engineering in Practice text Becoming Resilient.

Dr. Nemeth earned his PhD in human factors and ergonomics from the Union Institute and University in 2003, and an MS in product design from the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology in 1984. His design and human factors consulting practice and his corporate career have encompassed a variety of application areas, including health care, transportation and manufacturing. As a consultant, he has performed human factors analysis and product development, and served as an expert witness in litigation related to human performance. His 26-year academic career has included seven years in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and adjunct positions with Northwestern University’s McCormick College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Associate Professor), and Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the Design Research Society, a Senior Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and has served 8 years in various roles on the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society Board of Governors. He retired from the Navy in 2001 at the rank of Captain after a 30-year active duty and reserve career.

Yingwu WangYingxu Wang is professor of cognitive systems, brain science, software science, and denotational mathematics. He is the Founding President of International Institute of Cognitive Informatics and Cognitive Computing (ICIC, He is Fellows of BCS, ICIC and WIF, P.Eng of Canada, and Senior Members of IEEE and ACM. He has held visiting professor positions at Oxford University (1995), Stanford University (2008 | 2016), UC Berkeley (2008), and MIT (2012), respectively. He received a PhD in Computer Science from the Nottingham Trent University, UK, in 1998 and has been a full professor since 1994. He is the founder and steering committee chair of the annual IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Informatics and Cognitive Computing (ICCI*CC) since 2002. He is founding Editor-in-Chiefs of Int’l Journal of Cognitive Informatics & Natural Intelligence, Int’l Journal of Software Science & Computational Intelligence, and Journal of Mathematical & Computational Methods. He is Associate Editor of IEEE Trans. on Cognitive and Development Systems (TCDS) and the Computer Society Representative to the steering committee of TCDS.
Dr. Wang is the initiator of a few cutting-edge research fields such as cognitive informatics, denotational mathematics (concept algebra, process algebra, system algebra, semantic algebra, inference algebra, big data algebra, fuzzy truth algebra, fuzzy probability algebra, fuzzy semantic algebra, visual semantic algebra, and granular algebra), abstract intelligence (αI), the spike frequency modulation (SFM) theory, mathematical models of the brain, cognitive computing systems, cognitive learning engines, and the cognitive knowledge base theory. His work and basic studies have been across contemporary disciplines of intelligence science, robotics, knowledge science, computer science, information science, brain science, system science, software science, data science, neuroinformatics, cognitive linguistics, computational intelligence, and engineering systems. He has published 490+ peer reviewed papers and 36 books in aforementioned transdisciplinary fields. He has presented 43 invited keynote speeches in international conferences. He has served as general chairs or program chairs for 28+ international conferences. He has led 10+ international, European, and Canadian research projects as PI by intensive collaborations with renowned peers and leading industrial partners. He is the recipient of dozens international awards on academic leadership, outstanding contributions, best papers and teaching in the last three decades. He is a top 2.5% scholar worldwide and top 10 at University of Calgary according to Research Gate’s international statistics.

Saeid NahavandiSaeid Nahavandi received his BSc (Hons), MSc and PhD in Control Engineering from Durham University, UK in 1985, 1986 and 1991 respectively. Saeid is an Alfred Deakin Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor and the Director for the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation at Deakin University in Australia. Professor Nahavandi is a Fellow member of IET, IEAust and Senior Member of IEEE and has published over 750 refereed papers and been awarded several competitive grants over the past 30 years. He received the Research collaboration / initiatives award from Japan (2000) and Prince & Princess of Wales Science Award in 1994. He won the title of Young Engineer of the Year Award in 1996 and holds six patents. In 2002 Professor Nahavandi served as a consultant to the Jet Propulsion Lab (NASA) during his visit to JPL Labs. Professor Nahavandi was General Co-Chair for IEEE SMC 2011. He also holds the position of Co-Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Systems Journal, Associate Editor: IEEE/ASME Mechatronics, Associate Editor: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SYSTEMS, MAN, AND CYBERNETICS: SYSTEMS, Associate Editor: IEEE SMC Magazine.


Call for Speakers

We are inviting researchers and practitioners in industry, academia, and government from the above communities to present at this WS. Please submit a 2 page (max.) extended abstract on the topic of your talk and how it aligns with the themes of the Initiative. Also indicate your research interests and experiences in the abstract as it relates to the proposed topic. Email your submissions to by 5 August for review.

Accepted speakers will be invited to submit an article about their workshop contribution to a special issue of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Magazine.


Important Dates

Deadline for Extended Abstracts: 5 August 2018
Notification of Acceptances: 19 August 2018