Interaction between Humans and Autonomous Systems over Extended Operation
Papers from the AAAI Spring Symposium
James Gunderson and Cheryl Martin, Cochairs
Autonomous systems are needed to reduce human workload, to increase efficiency, and to perform routine, monotonous, challenging, or dangerous operations for which humans are not cognitively or physically well suited. The persistent or continuous nature of these needs in many applications requires deploying autonomous systems that can endure changing circumstances over extended operation. A key challenge for fielding such systems is supporting effective interaction between humans and the autonomous systems as situations and objectives change. Designs for short-term or one-shot deployment need not accommodate such changes. Over extended operations, equipment will degrade, human preferences and needs will change, environmental context will drift (e.g. weather changes), novel influences and obstacles will appear for which an autonomous system has not been explicitly prepared, and even high level goals and missions may shift. To be effective over extended operation, autonomous systems must be designed for appropriate interaction with humans to realize and respond to these changes.
This symposium explored applications in which humans and autonomous systems interact across changing circumstances over extended operation. We examined the changing role of humans in these applications as automation, agents, and robots become more prevalent in the future. Overall, the symposium participants gained insights into design challenges for future autonomous systems by exploring the synergy on this topic among research areas such as control automation, robotics, agent-based systems, humancomputer interaction, psychology, sociology, and cognitive science. This report contains papers addressing each of these key areas.