TC 9.2. Social Impact of Automation

Scope Members News Activities


Welcome on the IFAC Technical Committee 9.2 on "Social Impact of automation"


During the last decades, advanced information technologies have became more and more omnipresent to address new requirements and new needs of our "e-society".

But, their increasing development and their daily use in our professional and/or personal life impact so much the organisation of technical systems and socio-technical systems, that the traditional relationship between humans and machines, in the broad sense of the term, has been strongly altered.

One of the results of this increase in automation and control technologies is the emergence of new behaviours of both humans and machines that involve new balances of the mutual influence between technologies and society and that justify revisiting the traditional vision of the role that automation technologies play in our society.

In this perspective, the knowledge of the relationships between humans and technologies allows further research activities so as to encompass all issues and topics of the social impact of automation technologies.

The study of this impact is at the core of the activities of the Technical Committee 9.2 on "social impact of automation". All actions of the TC aim to address aspects of the relation of automation to social environment through the application of the potential of advanced technologies to the full benefit of humans and organizations.

But, the study of these aspects implies to enlarge the traditional setting of both control sciences and social sciences to a more holistic approach in order to cope with the increasing complexity of integrating technologies and Human behaviour within socio-technical systems and society in large.

In this perspective, members of the TC are coming from both these two communities.

Thus, Technical Committee 9.2 on "social impact of automation" has a long tradition in this field. As a regular series, the TC organise the "Automated Systems Based on Human Skill and Knowledge (ASBoHS)" symposia, usually on a triennial basis. Earlier editions were held in Berlin (1995), Kranjska Gora (1997), Aachen (2000), Göteborg (2003) and Nancy (2006). 

The aim of these symposia is to act as an international meeting point for researchers and practitioners, both in academia and industry, to allow them to present their latest research and ideas dealing with aspects of the relation of automation with society.

This relation is continuously developing and generates new challenges for the members of the TC in order to bring out the adequate balance between the pushing Information and Automation technologies and their suitable use by Society.

For example, during last Symposium in Nancy, the participants have discussed about efficient impact of automation, just when more and more automata are surrounding Human beings in their everyday life and just when pervasive presences of automata cause occasionally controversy regarding their hidden impact. Thus, important themes have emerged as: Pacifying e-Automation and Human Capabilities, Collaborating e-Intelligence and Human Skills, Balancing e-Learning and Face to Face Education and Training, Ubiquitous e-Automation, Safe, Secure and Ethical e-Society and Management of e-Technology.

New members are welcome to contribute to the successful fulfillment of the mission of this TC.