Emmanuel Goffi

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Emmanuel Goffi
E.Goffi 2010 Salon.JPG
Portrait of Emmanuel Goffi in Salon-de-Provence, France, in 2010
Born (1971-12-10) December 10, 1971 (age 51)
Nationality France,  Canada
EducationInstitut d'études politiques de Paris
Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence
(French Air Force Academy)
Occupation(s)Co-Director, Global AI Ethics Institute
Notable workEthics of Artificial intelligence
International relations
Political science

Emmanuel Roberto Goffi (born December 10, 1971) is a French philosopher of technologies and, more specifically, an artificial intelligence ethicist. He has served in the French Air Force for 27 years. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Global AI Ethics Institute in Paris. He is also an instructor and research associate with the Frankfurt Big Data Lab at the Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany[1] and a research fellow with the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. After having worked on military ethics, and more precisely on ethics applied to Lethal autonomous weapon, his focus has turned to ethics applied to Artificial intelligence.

Emmanuel Goffi lectured in international relations and the Law of Armed Conflict at the École de l'air (French Air Force Academy) for five years before he was appointed as a research associate at the Center for Aerospace Strategic Studies in Paris. Goffi also taught international relations at the DSI Diplomatic Studies Institute in Marseille,[2] at the Management Institute of Paris and at the École supérieure de commerce et management (ESCEM) in Paris.[3] He is the author of Les armées françaises face à la morale: une réflexion au cœur des conflits modernes (Paris: L’Harmattan [fr], 2011).http://www.bigdata.uni-frankfurt.de/ethical-implications-ai-ss2020/

Emmanuel Goffi graduated from the French Air Force Military Academy and holds a master's degree in political science from the Paris Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po) and a research master's degree in political science from the Aix Institute of Political Science. He holds a PhD (highest honor) in political science from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris-Centre de recherches internationales (Sciences Po-CERI).[4]

Military career[edit]

Emmanuel Goffi joined the French Air Force in 1992 as a non-commissioned officer and specialist in electrotechnics.[5]

After a competitive exam, he was admitted to join the École militaire de l'air in Salon de Provence in 2000.

After he left the French Air Force Academy, Emmanuel Goffi was appointed Deputy Chief of the Air Force Headquarters Network Management Cell, at the Centre de gestion de l’armée de l’Air in Paris, France, in September 2001.

He was then moved to the Personal staff of the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force as a speech-writer and linguist in September 2002.

In 2003, he is posted at the Délégation à l'information et à la communication de la Défense to be an analyst in International Relations.

In 2007, after he completed his master's degree at Sciences Po and finished his scholarship at the University of Queensland in Australia, he is posted as a professor of international relations at the French Air Force Academy. He will then be Deputy Head and later Head, of the Department of Human Sciences. During his tenure, he also teaches the Law of Armed Conflict, Ethics and Communication. While at the French Air Force Academy, he notably set up the Law of Armed Conflict Module[6] in the framework of the Initiative européenne pour les échanges de jeunes officiers, inspirée d'Erasmus (European initiative for the exchange of young officers inspired by Erasmus), that was finally adopted as the model for all European military academies by the Collège européen de sécurité et de défense (European College for Security and Defence) in Brussels. Emmanuel was also the first professor to give a course in English (a part of English language courses) at the French Air Force Academy. Besides, this module gave birth to an annual international seminar and an edited book issued in 2011.

From September 2012 to September 2014, is appointed Strategy Analyst, Influence Officer and Research Associate at Centre d’Etudes Stratégiques Aérospatiales (CESA),[7] where he works on drones, ethics and security studies. While at the CESA he notably co-edited a seminal volume of more than 40 contributions about drones, Les drones aériens: passé, présent et avenir. Approche globale, published in 2013.

In 2014, he is granted an extended leave to start a new career in Canada, and retired in July 2019 after 25 years of service.

Research activities[edit]

After two years in Science Po, during which he spent one semester at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, QLD, Australia, he started working on international relations, focusing on military ethics. He then directed his research activities on ethical issues related to the use of drones[8] and military robots in modern conflicts,[9][10] and its impact upon the profession of arms.[11]

Through moral philosophy, he tries to offer new approaches for military ethics, basing his reflections upon intersubjectivity, moral responsibility,[12] and moral freedom.[13][14]

Emmanuel's doctoral dissertation, entitled "Le sacrifice suprême, une approche critique de la construction d'un mythe: les officiers français et la mort pro patria dans le contexte du conflit en Afghanistan" (Supreme Sacrifice: A Critical Approach of the Construction of a Myth. The French Officers and Death Pro Patria in the Context of the Afghan Conflict), addresses the issue of supreme-sacrifice in modern conflicts trying to show that the obligation to consent to sacrifice is a social construct which needs to be questioned in regard to modern military engagements.[4]

Emmanuel Goffi is also a research fellow at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies,[15] University of Manitoba (Canada) and a research associate with Sciences Po-Centre de recherches internationales. He is currently conducting researches as a research associate with the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg on the evolution of peace operations in Africa.

Teaching activities[edit]

Emmanuel Goffi in Quantico in 2012.

Goffi mainly taught international relations focusing on threats to international security, such as terrorism, environmental or technology issues, but also on French foreign policy and international relations theories. He also teaches strategy.

While posted at the French Air Force Academy, he also provided courses on the law of armed conflicts and international relations ethics. He extensively worked on the organization of the international seminar on the law of armed conflicts (LOAC) yearly held at the French Air Force Academy,[16] and on the building of the French Air Force Academy's LOAC module and its integration to the "European initiative for the exchange of young officers inspired by Erasmus" training program.[17]

Courses taught[edit]

Institut libre d'étude des relations internationales, Paris, France

  • Éthique et relations internationales

Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

  • 78.381 International Organizations

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

  • POLS 7850 Contemporary Strategic and Security Studies;
  • POLS 4730 Strategic Studies
  • POLS 3200 International Security and Conflict Management
  • POLS 2040 Introduction to International Relations
  • POLS 1040 Global Political Issues (International College of Manitoba)[18]

École de l'air, Salon-de-provence, France

  • Introduction aux relations internationales
  • Droit des conflits armés
  • Éthique et relations internationales

École supérieure de commerce et de management, Paris, France

  • Introduction aux relations internationales

Management Institute of Paris, Paris, France

  • Strategy in international contexts

ISD – Institut des sciences diplomatiques de Marseille, Marseille, France

  • Participation des organisations internationales aux relations internationales
  • Évaluation de la participation des acteurs non-étatiques
  • Théorie générale des relations internationales
  • Espaces régionaux et leurs rapports internes et externes



  • Les armées françaises face à la morale. Une réflexion au cœur des conflits modernes, Paris: L'Harmattan, coll. Histoire de la Défense, 2011, 216 p. (ISBN 978-2296542495)

Edited volumes[edit]

  • Sébastien MAZOYER, Jérôme LESPINOIS, Emmanuel GOFFI, Grégory BOUTHERIN, Christophe PAJON (coord.). Les drones aériens: passé, présent et avenir. Approche globale. Paris: La Documentation française, coll. Stratégie aérospatiale, 2013. 708 p. (ISBN 978-2110093769)
  • Grégory BOUTHERIN, Emmanuel GOFFI (dir.). L'Europe et sa défense. Paris: Choiseul, 2011. 280 p. (ISBN 978-2361590109)
  • Emmanuel GOFFI, Grégory BOUTHERIN (dir.). Les conflits et le droit. Paris: Choiseul, 2011. 200 p. (ISBN 978-2361590161)

Selected articles and books chapters[edit]

Selected talks[edit]

  • The Futility of the So-Called 'War on Terrorism'. 18th Annual Graduate Strategic Studies Conference 'Strategy, Security, and Defence'. University of Calgary, Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies, Calgary AB, Canada, February 25, 2016.
  • A French Perspective on Military Ethics. Unit Ethics Coordinator course. Canadian Forces Base, Winnipeg MB, Canada, February 6, 2016.
  • Military drones: Who will be responsible for what?. Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society's Speaker Event 'Drone Technology'. Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, Winnipeg MB, Canada, April 30, 2015.
  • Moralité et drones armés: pour en finir avec une vision dépassée de la guerre. 6e Rencontre internationale Université-Défense 'Les drones: un outil incontournable, des questions légitimes'. Institut militaire de Québec/Université Laval, Québec QC, Canada, March 25, 2015.
  • (in French) Le débat éthique sur l'emploi des drones armés et ses limites (lit. The ethical debate on the use of drones and its limits), Fondation pour la recherche stratégique, Maison de la Chimie, Paris, France, June 30, 2014.
  • Round table L'Homme face à l'interconnexion des systèmes. 8e Rencontre Aviation Civile Aviation Militaire 'L'Homme et l'aéronautique: Regards croisés vers le futur', Direction générale de l'aviation civile, Paris, France, June 4, 2014.
  • Drones, Robotics, Combat and the Ethics of Military Courage, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB, Canada. February 5, 2014.
  • (in French) Quelle place pour l'éthique dans la guerre des drones? (lit. What place for ethics in drone warfare?), at ANAJ-IHEDN, France, January 2014
  • The Legitimacy of Warfare Fought by Robots: The Raise of A-Courageous Warriors, Autonomous, Unmanned Systems & Robotics Conference, Yes Planet Hall, Rishon LeZion, Israel. November 26–28, 2013.
  • Re-Thinking Courage in Light of Military Technology Improvement, International Society for Military Ethics, 2013 Conference Military Virtues and Contemporary Challenges, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, United States of America. October 13–16, 2013.
  • Lethal Autonomous Robotics and the Right to Life: Expert Consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, European University Institute, Florence, Italy. February 23, 2013.
  • Challenging Self-sacrifice – Is Technology the Executioner of Warrior's Honor? 17th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA. May 26–29, 2011.
  • Ethics and Technology in Modern Warfare: a Matter of Responsibility. International Society for Military Ethics, 2011 Symposium The Ethics of Emerging Military Technologies, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States of America. January 25–28, 2011.
  • The Impact of Technology on Self Sacrifice in Modern Conflicts – Are Soldiers Still Ready to Die? Postgraduate Conference, King's College/Department of War Studies, Cumberland Lodge, Berkshire, UK. October 6–8, 2010.
  • The False Debate over the Morality of Robots on the Battlefield – Rediscovering the Principle of Responsibility. Expert Workshop on Arms Control for Robots – International Committee for Robots Arms Control, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany. September 20–22, 2010.


  1. ^ "Big Data Lab".
  2. ^ "Isd Institut des Sciences Diplomatiques". Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  3. ^ "Speakers Academy".
  4. ^ a b Sciences po-CERI website "User page of E.Goffi"
  5. ^ "Parcours officier" atypique d'un sous-officier électrotechnicien Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine, official website of the French Air Force Officers Academy
  6. ^ "CSDP structure, instruments, and agencies – EEAS – European External Action Service – European Commission" (PDF). EEAS - European External Action Service.
  7. ^ CESA, Official website of the Centre d’Etudes Stratégiques Aérospatiales
  8. ^ Boutherin, Grégory; Goffi, Emmanuel (December 2010). "Les UAVs armés sous le feu des débats". Revue Défense Nationale (in French). 735: 114–120.
  9. ^ "The Morality of Lethal Autonomous Machines". CRUSER News (14). April 1, 2012.
  10. ^ "Robots go to war: The march of the robots". The Economist - Technology Quarterly. June 2, 2012.
  11. ^ (in French) Pierre Martinez, Frédéric Coste, Adeline Taravella. "Relation homme-robot: prise en compte des nouveaux facteurs sociologiques" (PDF).. IRSEM, EPS 2011-27, rapport final, 23 janvier 2012. (lit. Man-Robot Relationship, Taking into account the new sociological factors. Contains multiple references to Goffi's books.)
  12. ^ "Leadership in a World of Blurred Responsibilities"., in Paolo Tripodi and Carroll J. Connelley (eds.), Aspects of Leadership: Ethics, Law and Spirituality, Quantico, Marine Corps University Press, 2012, pp. 87-110.
  13. ^ "Expression libre". Inflexions. Civils et Militaires: Pouvoir Dire (in French). 22: 119–127. January 2013. {{cite journal}}: External link in |volume= (help)
  14. ^ Ellner, Andrea; Robinson, Paul; Whetham, David, eds. (15 January 2014). "There is No Real Moral Obligation to Obey Orders. Escaping from 'Low Cost Deontology'". When Soldiers Say No: Selective Conscientious Objection in the Modern Military. Ashgate. ISBN 9781472412140.
  15. ^ "University of Manitoba – Centre for Defence and Security Studies". umanitoba.ca.
  16. ^ "Le séminaire international de droit des conflits armés 2010." (PDF) (in French). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2013-11-25. (lit. International Seminar on Laws of Armed Conflicts of 2010)
  17. ^ Standard curriculum for the common module on the Law of Armed Conflicts under the European Initiative for the Exchange of Young Officers. "The Law of Armed Conflicts.". Archived from the original on November 25, 2013.
  18. ^ "ICM – Home". www.icmanitoba.ca.

External links[edit]