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Maxwell / Autonomous Systems Policy Institute
  • Autonomous Systems Policy Institute

    An interdisciplinary effort that will advance knowledge and teaching in the field of autonomous systems by exploring new frontiers in policy, law and governance of these fast-expanding technologies.

  • What is ASPI?

    The Autonomous Systems Policy Institute (ASPI) is a campus-wide institute dedicated to interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching on the design, governance, and wider implications of autonomous systems; and to critically engaging and shaping the policy and ethical frameworks that guide the use and development of autonomous systems.

    ASPI’s work focuses all autonomous systems, from driverless cars to unmanned aerial vehicles to maritime systems. This broad approach, plus ASPI’s interdisciplinary reach, allows it to offer a synthesizing, critical perspective on how autonomous systems impact the world around us and what kinds of policies, norms, and practices can best shape their ethical and fair use.

    ASPI brings academic insight, community needs, and industry developments into conversation and joint action. It involves faculty from all Syracuse University schools and colleges and creates research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students across campus. ASPI also hosts speaker series, public events, and student and faculty workshops.

    Areas of potential collaboration include the following:

    • public policy and social science experts at the Maxwell School;
    • legal scholars in the College of Law;
    • ethical and philosophical expertise in the humanities from the College of Arts and Sciences;
    • industry development and dynamics in the Whitman School and the School of Information Studies;
    • media relevance in the Newhouse School;
    • basic and applied research in the Colleges of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Arts and Sciences;
    • design applications in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Architecture;
    • new educational imperatives and inclusion possibilities in the School of Education; and
    • health and mobility implications of these new technologies in the Falk College.

    Are you a student?

    >> Learn more about our study opportunities related to the field of autonomous systems.

  • In the News

    Himmelreich piece on ethics of self-driving cars published in CACM

    In his paper, "Ethics of Technology Needs More Political Philosophy," Johannes Himmelreich argues that the current debate on the ethics of self-driving cars has not paid sufficient attention to political concerns such as autonomy, pluralism, and legitimacy. The paper, published in Communications of the ACM, is also accompanied by a video.


    Syracuse University Announces the Establishment of New Autonomous Systems Policy Institute

    On May 6, 2019, Syracuse University hosted the Symposium on Autonomous Systems Policy, Law, and Governance. The symposium convened faculty, scholars, and experts for a daylong discussion about governance opportunities and challenges prompted by the rapidly developing field of autonomous systems. In his opening remarks, Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud announced the establishment of the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute (ASPI).


    Winders comments on UNESCO report on AI in NY Ag Connection

    "One of the things that decades of research in the social sciences and humanities has shown us is that there is a two-way street between identity categories like gender and race and the material things that fill our daily lives," says Jamie Winders. She was interviewed for the NY Ag Connection article "Unless Designers and Users Intervene, Expect More AI Missteps."


  • Inaugural ASPI Symposium

    View the Opening Remarks and Keynote Address.

    Symposium on Autonomous Systems Policy, Law, and Governance
    May 6, 2019

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  • Contact Information

  • jamie winders

    Jamie Winders
    Director, Autonomous Systems Policy Institute
    Professor, Geography and the Environment