PUBLISHED: From “automation” to “autonomy”: The importance of trust repair in human-machine interaction

March 26, 2018

Modern interactions with technology are increasingly moving away from simple human use of computers as tools to the establishment of human relationshipswith autonomous entities that carry out actions on our behalf. In a recent commentary, Peter Hancock (Hancock, 2017) issued a stark warning to the field of human factors that attention must be focused on the appropriate design of a new class of technology: highly autonomous systems. In this article, we heed the warning and propose a human-centered approach directly aimed at ensuring that future human-autonomy interactions remain focused on the user’s needs and preferences. By adapting literature from industrial psychology, we propose a framework to infuse a unique human-like ability, building and actively repairing trust, into autonomous systems. We conclude by proposing a model to guide the design of future autonomy and a research agenda to explore current challenges in repairing trust between humans and autonomous systems.

Practitioner summary

This paper is a call to practitioners to re-cast our connection to technology as akin to a relationship between two humans rather than between a human and their tools. To that end, designing autonomy with trust repair abilities will ensure future technology maintains and repairs relationships with their human partners.



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