Accession Number:

ADA422303

Title:

The Cognitive Costs and Benefits of Automation

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:

DEFENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CANADAVALCARTIER (QUEBEC)

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

13.0

Abstract:

In complex environments like Command and Control C2 where human errors may have tragic consequences, intelligent automated systems are essential to execute complex tasks, such as situation assessment and decision-making. However, because C2 environments also are dynamic, it may be difficult for the machine to adapt to the changing and unstable conditions of the environment. That is when the human capacity of adaptation is required. Because the human cannot be completely replaced or removed from the execution of these tasks, the interaction and coordination between the human and the automated system becomes crucial. This paper discusses the cognitive costs and benefits related to automation within the execution of all processes that lead to the course of action selection. Among the benefits identified, the human workload and the demand of attentional resources can be significantly reduced. A major cognitive cost of automation can be attributed to the shifting role of the human in the execution of a task. With automated systems, the role of the human is to supervise the systems functioning. However, the more passive role of supervisor may prevent humans from building an appropriate mental model of emergency situations that is essential for the recovery of system failures. 8 figures, 10 refs.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Cybernetics
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE