Agent Interaction with Human Systems in Complex Environments: Requirements for Automating the Function of CapCom in Apollo 17

William J. Clancey

A human-centered approach to computer systems design involves reframing analysis in terms of people interacting with each other, not only human-machine interaction. The primary concern is not how people can interact with computers, but how shall we design computers to help people work together? An analysis of astronaut interactions with CapCom on Earth during one traverse of Apollo 17 shows what kind of information was conveyed and what might be automated today. A variety of agent and robotic technologies are proposed that deal with recurrent problems in communication and coordination during the analyzed traverse.


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