ME Seminar Series: Humans + Automation: Greater Than The Sum of the Parts

Nov 12

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Monday, November 12, 2012 - 11:30am to 1:00pm


Prof. Mary (Missy) Cummings) - MIT

The use of automation and related 'intelligent' decision support systems is dramatically increasing in complex systems such as unmanned vehicles, process control, and medical applications. In these dynamic systems that require some level of human supervisory control, the current trend is to increase automation both to improve overall efficiency and enhance safety. This presentation will discuss the strengths and limitations of humans and automation in supervisory control settings and demonstrate that increasing automation may not necessarily have the intended effect. Design interventions for mutual human-automation support that result in superior system performance will also be discussed. Mary (Missy) Cummings received her B.S. in Mathematics from the United States Naval Academy in 1988, her M.S. in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994, and her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2004. A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, she was one of the Navy's first female fighter pilots. She is currently an associate professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and is the director of the MIT Humans and Automation Laboratory. Her research interests include human supervisory control, human-unmanned vehicle interaction, and the ethical and social impact of technology.