Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, have announced the “Global Autonomous Systems Conference,” scheduled in Anchorage this coming August.

Keynote speakers include Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink and University of Alaska President Pat Pitney.

Themed, “Trailblazing Autonomous Paths for a New World Economy,” the aim of the gathering is to highlight Alaska’s drone capability while identifying coming global challenges and opportunities.

An April 18 announcement noted that the three-day gathering will include presentations from “worldwide experts, conversations among policy and industry leaders, and opportunities to connect with visionaries in autonomous systems.” The conference is sponsored by the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. ACUASI is one of the nation’s top drone research programs.

“Whether it is using an Artificial Intelligence camera payload installed on a drone to spot whales, or underwater gliders to conduct physical oceanography research, Alaskan researchers are leading the way towards using autonomy to solve real-world problems,” said ACUASI director Dr. Cathy Cahill.

Breakout sessions will focus on safety and security surrounding AI-powered drones, AI decision making, the ethics of AI, the impact of AI drones for law enforcement, military, search and rescue, socio-economic commercialization, emergency management, government policy, transportation, rural areas, fisheries and more.

“AAM promises to be safe, fast, affordable, and eco-friendly, allowing people to reach their destinations quickly and efficiently,” the official announcement asserts. “Invited experts and leaders in the fields of security, AI, emergency management, oceanography, fisheries, and more will also highlight the opportunities and challenges on the horizon for unmanned aerial systems in the economy and beyond.”

University of Alaska President Pat Pitney said unmanned aircrafts are particularly important for Alaska which she said is “at the intersection of investment, innovation, and practical application of unmanned aircraft technology due to its location at the crossroads for worldwide transportation and logistics.”

The Global Autonomous Systems Conference will be held Aug. 9-11 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska. For more details, visit

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Robots in the sky: Alaska to host conference on future of AI drones for a ‘New World Economy’

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    It’s bad enough we’re going to do this but key note speaker Ann Zink (Fauci Jr.) to run it all? What are you thinking? I guess Ann Zink can sit in her office and run a drone over my house yo see if I’m wearing a mask or not. Right? And yo think people are ok with that! Really people? Two years of her being Fauci’s puppet and now Top Dog? And university president Pat Pitney for her right hand person. Come on Alaska, can’t we do any better than the bottom of the barrel? Being it’s A.I. how about a general from the base? We know they will be using drones probably more than non military. Is tge reason for doing it in Alaska so tge lower 48 don’t get word? Maybe democratic news agencies can redacted it enough so it looks like nothing will change. Alaska knows better. Now, we know they can be helpful in our extreme weather situations but we also how greet and a step up will lead to misuse and abuse to spy on people! Makes me wander how long it will be before someone shoots one down while invading their privacy? Any bets? Ok forgot we can’t gamble.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Selling Alaskan Natives on the idea of drones
    Another article about UAF being selected
    My spidey senses are throwing up flags on this program – not good for Alaska. Talk about being able to spy on all of Alaska no matter where you are at!

  • Lucinda says:

    Neil. Joel chummed you by mentioning Zink. You bit.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Drones to spy on us and unwanted things in our food and liquids.

  • Mary says:

    Sink the Sink!!! Enough of her! Past her prime!

  • Rosalind Griffin says:

    World Health Organization has patents for drones to come to your house and take your blood. establishment Republicans will stick their arm out because they don’t want to offend the Drone!!!

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Folks I’ve repeatedly said that governor Mike Dunleavy is not what he said he is! This is now getting to the point of being frightening! Zinc is now the president of the Association of State and Territorial Officials. Unofficially she is Anthony Fauci’s clone, clearly involved in the death culture just like her grandfather! Can we really sit back and do nothing?

    • Aunt Sally says:

      Thanks for the tip-off regarding Zink’s grandfather, Dave! I wasn’t aware that he was one of the more prominent hysterical “Peak Oil” loons back in the day: ttps://

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Interesting website! I had heard that Zink’s family was somehow tied to eugenics. His articles sound like Bill Gates!

  • Scott says:

    As an uav operator, I understand that using tech to make things safer. I am not sure about all this though.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Naomi Wolf and the people that she works with have been doing fantastic research and reporting! Thank you for the link Mary!

  • Jackie Blankenship says:

    This a huge red flag!! I agree that anything being led by Zink and Pitney is dangerous for Alaskans. What are they really going to use these drones for?? I am very disappointed in Dunleavy for supporting this conference. This is a big NO for Alaskans and US citizens in general! This is another ploy to take away more rights and our privacy!! This conference needs to be protested!!

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Dunleavy and Todd Smolden are defiantly disregarding their roles as public servants! Thank you to the folks at Wasilla library last evening showing Todd what they thought of this defiance!

  • Lez-o Brandon says:

    Zink still being active is a sign our voting system is not working..

  • StopTheMadness says:

    Share your views on this with Governor Dunleavy:

    Don’t let him do things like this without hearing from us!

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      I agree! Maybe send the web message and a physical letter to one of his many offices.
      There is so much to write about! The attack on our children, the attack on our freedoms with speech/drones, the demorat senator running around the US, lying to everyone about how Alaskans really feel, the weather warfare that will probably cause our state to have more fires this upcoming summer according to Dane Wigington at lateste episode. Take your pick, or maybe there is something else on your mind! We need to let Dunleavy know that we have not forgotten about him.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Here is more about targeting technology if you have an hour to listen to this. I wonder if drones will be incorporated with this other technology to get a thorough picture of us, our homes and to target us? It makes me miss my incandescent light bulbs!