Researching the Interactions of Human and Computer Decision-Making
Research in Duke University's Humans and Autonomy Lab (HAL*) focuses on the multifaceted interactions of human and computer decision-making in complex sociotechnical systems with embedded autonomy.
Given the explosion of autonomous technology in aviation, medicine, and even in everyday mundane environments like driving, the need for humans as supervisors of and collaborators in complex autonomous control systems has replaced the need for humans in direct manual control.
Instead of relying on humans for well-rehearsed skill execution and rule following that requires significant practice and memorization (and subject to problems such as fatigue and boredom), autonomous systems need humans for their more abstract levels of knowledge synthesis, judgment, and reasoning. Autonomous systems today, and even more so in the future, require coordination and teamwork for mutual support between humans and machines for both improved system safety and performance.
Learn more about the Humans and Autonomy Lab.
*HAL was previously known as the Humans and Automation Laboratory at MIT and was moved to Duke University in the Fall of 2013. See http://web.mit.edu/aeroastro/labs/halab/index.shtml for archival information about HAL 1.0.
In the News
"Boredom" (BBC) 7 April 2014: Dr. Cummings talks about helping drone pilots deal with boredom.
"Drones Over America" (60 Minutes) 16 March 2014: 60 Minutes aired a segment on commercial drones, and interviewed Dr. Cummings as part of it.
"Dr. Cummings on Tech and Privacy" (C-SPAN) 31 January 2014: Dr. Cummings testifies in front of the Senate Commerce Committee on January 15th, 2014, about the commercial uses of drones and the need for more government funding for education in robotics in general.
"U.S. Needs to Join the Aviation Revolution" (Boston Globe) 8 December 2013: Boston Globe op-ed about the commercial viability of drones.
"Drones Have Flown the Military Coop" (The Globe and Mail) 22 November 2013: Op-ed in the Globe and Mail (Canada's national newspaper) about future military applications of drones.