an image of a man sitting in a large control room

‘Fully Automated’ Might be an Oxymoron

It is really good to keep in mind, as we migrate to fully automated systems (self-driving cars, drone delivery, automated power plants, autopiloted airplanes, and on and on) that inevitably a human is going to be forced into the loop by something going wrong or unexpected. When it does, the low situation awareness can be devastating. This article by HFI has some great examples. Glad to see that HF/E practitioners are not afraid to be called Luddites.

Whatever happened to the human in the loop? At various times in the past, people have worried about being replaced by computers, or they have experienced being made “redundant” due to automation. Robots, transhumanism and the Internet of Things are in the daily news, even though the Jetsons cartoon vision from decades ago has not been realized.

Image credit: “Control room pt tupper” by Achim Hering used under Public domain

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