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Human free warfare, and human-machine combat teaming, has been the subject of a good deal of discussion over the past ten years making the transition from science fiction to fielded capability.  To some, we are at an inflection point in the nature of combat – on the precipice of an era that dehumanises conflict and war.  To others, the evolution of warfare to include machines of greater autonomy is simply a linear extension of historical norms.

In this conference, panelists and speakers will not provide a definitive future but instead address a range of potential futures for combat enabled through technology and founded on military experience, commercial knowledge and academic research.  Thus, the key take-aways are rather skewed towards the hurdles to success – not simply physical or organisational, but also conceptual, moral and ethical challenges that need to be addressed

The timing of the conference is significant.  UK has been closely observing the US Third Offset Strategy (3OS) for several years – a programme designed to harness the potential of technology into warfare and provide a decisive edge over adversaries.  This is timely since it appears that innovation (a core element of the 3OS narrative) may no longer represent the panacea sought by smart military leaders. RUSI has recently released a paper examining the implications of the US Third Offset Strategy for the UK and this conference is designed to look forward at the next steps – that is to say, how Britain will adapt for the challenges as well as the opportunities that emerging technologies present. 

Sessions include:

  • The spectrum of possible future combat scenarios
  • The technology/human spectrum in warfare
  • Identifying the hurdles to success

Ticket Prices (excluding VAT):

Standard rate - £750 

Corporate rate - £600

Military / Government - £200

RUSI Under-35 Members - £75

Students - £75

Please contact Louise Tingle ( to find out about conference sponsorship opportunities.

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