Discussion on the benefits, risks of UAVs coming to Toronto

With small unmanned aircraft (or “drones”) being rapidly developed and adopted for a number of roles in civilian life, It’s no wonder that robotics have become an important topic for debate. Most of these conversations center on the public’s concern for privacy and regulation. Many have been inaccurate in describing how this technology works, and what it can and cannot do.

Perhaps most important, few of these discussions have been broad enough to accurately depict the many positive ways in which this technology can improve the lives of millions, and potentially billions of people. Furthermore, few actually have featured the individuals at the forefront of development, who have the best insight into the limitations, capabilities, risks, and benefits of unmanned aircraft.

A symposium of stakeholders in the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) community in Toronto seeks to bring new information to light, and give this important debate much-needed context.

Called “UAVs Pros-Cons,” the symposium will take place June 30 at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, and will feature experts in surveillance, augmented reality, robotics, data science, and journalism. DroneJournalism.org has officially announced its sponsorship for this event:

To a great extent, the quality of a democracy is determined by the quality of information available to the public. DroneJournalism.org was founded in 2011 to help equip journalists with an innovative new technology to provide that information: small, unmanned aircraft.

We are an organization of journalists, engineers, and unmanned systems operators dedicated to establishing the technical and ethical framework to deploy unmanned systems for reporting (i.e. “drone journalism”).

DroneJournalism.org supports debate and thoughtful consideration of these powerful tools, with attention paid not solely to the reasonable limits of the technology, but also to the great potential for “drones” to provide perspective and hard data to essential investigations.

The UAVs Pros-Cons Symposium provides a platform for an important debate around a disruptive technology. Matthew Schroyer, founder of DroneJournalism.org, will contribute perspectives on journalism, ethics, data-gathering, and science education for the UAVs Pros-Cons Symposium.

This event is free to the public, but seating is limited. Patrons and sponsors for this event include Ryerson University, Explore Engage, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, the University of Wallongong, Flinders University, the Australian Privacy Foundation, Research Network for a Secure Australia, Drones For Good, sUASNews.com, and EPIC.