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Activity title

Human-Machine Trust: Risk-based Assurance and Licensing of Autonomous Systems

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Systems Concepts and Integration

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Assurance, Autonomous, Autonomy, Licenses, Validation


At the cross-domain and cross-panel Specialist Meeting on Autonomy from a System Perspective (SCI-296), held in May 2107, a major area for consideration was how to build trust in a future Human-Machine capability that makes greater use of autonomy. To support that area a Risk-based Assurance and Licensing of Autonomous Systems approach was outlined. SCI is proposing this as a SM initially to baseline the expert knowledge base and develop the way forward. a potential follow-on activity in order to develop a common understanding of that approach and the potential benefits to building that trust. It will also align with other relevant activities resulting from the SCI-296 to ensure coherency.


The S&T objective is to contribute in building trust within a human-machine team through a risk-based assurance and a licensing process that covers and expands the scope of allowed missions or effects. H-M team would be licenced for a certain number of missions, including human-robot systems, and how that licence can be sustained and extended to cover mission requirements for new or uncertain threats in deployment. The expected achievement would be to inform a standardised process that can be applied across all NATO nations to allow human-machine teams to operate confidently in future operating environment that are hybrid in nature and coalition in character.


• OE including Rules of Engagement • Express classes of missions of OE • Exacting definition of capabilities • Definition of different risk classes (will include leveraging work done by AVT-278) • Definition and linking levels of autonomy to support Licencing - enabling different perspectives from different nations • Dynamic and continues levels of autonomy • Dynamic H-M balancing to meet OE/ROE • Systems needs to comply with the scope of missions • Assurance and Licence for class of missions • Risk based approach overcome constraints in certification and adapt to OE • Leverage human licensing approaches • Coherency and harmonisation of licensing and risk classes • Reference framework and common language • Pre-deployment licence • Failures and Success for learning and expansion of scope • Legal and Ethical considerations impacting risk-based assurance and licencing

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