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Activity title

Human Autonomy Teaming

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Human Factors and Medicine

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Autonomy, Humanautonomy, Teaming


With advances in computer power, artificial intelligence, sensors and connectivity, machines gain increasing capabilities to act more and more autonomously. Examples for this are the development towards so called autonomous and automated driving, autonomous sea and undersea vessels, autonomous air vehicles for imagery collection, but also in not so obvious applications like cyber defense, image analysis, and autonomous logistics. While autonomy can relieve operators from strenuous, boring or dangerous tasks, it also raises several challenges about tractability, authority, operator-out-of-the-loop effects, controllability & directability, observability, shared comprehension, trust and responsibility. Even with high autonomous capabilities, humans have to retain a certain control, and have to be in the loop at least at certain times. Moreover, if we look at the development of humans, the natural development is from a strong dependency on the parents towards more and more autonomy, that is then more and more transformed into cooperativity and placed into the service of a community. Similar could be desirable for machines: Starting from a good capability to act autonomously, this could lead towards a good teaming between humans and autonomous capabilities, with an increased performance and resilience of the defense system.


The symposium addresses human-autonomy teaming from the perspectives of the overall system, technological factors, human factors, operational issues and corresponding legal and ethical questions. It connects different domains like ground, air, sea, space and cyber, and bridges science with applications and operations. Starting from an overview where we came from regarding autonomy and human autonomy teaming, the symposium should briefly chart the state of the art, and especially map future directions, balancing risks and opportunities associated with this exciting development.


1) The big picture: Human autonomy teaming in defense from a strategic and human-machine system perspective 2) The operational picture: Requirements, hopes and concerns from our soldiers 3) No HAT without sufficient autonomy: Autonomous capabilities that can be used for teaming 4) No HAT without good interaction and communication: (bi-directional, adaptive, naturalistic, goal/effects-based) 5) HAT is about cooperation: Functional Division, Decision making, Teaming Relationship, compatibility, comprehension/Understanding (adaptive; level of cooperation/collaboration, performance monitoring, transparency), 6) Joint Learning/Training (collaborative learning methods, crew resource management, etc.) 7) Ethical, Legal and Social aspects (ELSI) of HAT: Values, Ability, Authority, Trust, Responsibility, Accountability and moral Issues 8) Assessing risks and benefits of HAT: Performance and Effectiveness Metrics

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