Exploring the Social Science of Human-Autonomy Interaction

Hello, World

Welcome, please come in!  We are still arranging our furniture but we are happy to have you here.  We (Arathi Sethumadhavan & Richard Pak) are both engineering psychologists.  Arathi works in industry (Senior Director at CORE HF), while Rich is in academia (Associate Professor in Psychology, Clemson University).  

We are both excited and passionate about the future.  Many people think it will be dominated by humans working alongside highly autonomous things (software agents, robots).  These autonomous systems will be present in our work, home, recreation, and even romantic lives.  

However, human behavior with higher levels of autonomy can be counter-intuitive, irrational, and maladaptive.  What will this future look like?  How will humans react?  How will this change us?

As we approach this uncertain future, it becomes even more critical to understand how humans behave and react with such systems.  

In this blog, we will cover news and developments focusing on the social science side of human-automation partnerships; it’s one area we think is not covered enough.  We also think the current conversation is being driven by engineers, philosophers, and politicians; we'd like to make some room at the table for social scientists.  If humans are to interact with future autonomy in a safe and productive way, we must better understand the social science aspects--the human.  

Occasionally, we'll take a deep dive into issues of autonomy with a social science spin.

We hope we have something interesting and unique to contribute and we also hope that you will participate in the discussion.

Richard Pak & Arathi Sethumadhavan