Integration of Humans and Systems

Integration Technologies

The differential advantage of the U.S. Army over its potential adversaries is in large part due to the successful integration of skilled Soldiers with advanced technologies within a team context. Increased training burdens and the rapid development of technology indicate a critical need to "fit machines to Soldiers, rather than the other way around" (U.S. Army Operating Concept, TRADOC, 525-3-1, 2014). A fundamental understanding of human capabilities and human-system interactions is necessary to enable stronger reciprocity and association between Soldiers and to more effectively integrate the latest technologies into Army units and training environments. Advances in the human sciences for cognitive, social, and physical performance and development are conceptualized in new methods, models, approaches and capabilities for strengthening the Soldier-system interface in the systems design cycle. Resultant innovations are expected to revolutionize communication and control between Soldiers and technology. This will make advanced adaptive technologies and autonomous systems capabilities readily available to individual Soldiers and thus support the rapid, meticulous, definitive actions necessary to meet the demands of the future battlespace. Reduced complexity of the human-machine interface for users and decreased training demands will enhance Soldier readiness and enable Army forces to keep pace with rapid development and incorporation of advanced technology capabilities, while retaining the lead in the areas of technology transfer and system adaptation.

Humans in Multi-agent Systems

Soldier operational environments are becoming increasingly saturated with embodied and non-embodied agents disseminated within wide and often physically distributed networks. These agents are becoming increasingly autonomous, capable of both obtaining and processing massive amounts of information and making increasingly complex decisions on their own. In the future, it is anticipated that autonomous agents will be fully embedded and integrated within mission-enabled teams, including Soldiers and civilians with their own varying and disparate capabilities and intentions and a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. The challenge will be to balance the strengths and weaknesses of human and agent capabilities for decision making and action to support both short- and long-term mission objectives. Critically, human-agent integration must keep pace with the evolving capabilities and limitations of autonomous and semi-autonomous agents within networked operational environments. These changes will likely cause a fundamental shift in the way mixed-team decisions are made, with the human role moving increasingly toward evaluation of the information and assumptions underlying decisions made by other human and networked agents in the operational environment. It will be necessary for future technologies to exploit a deep understanding of human behavior dynamics and limitations to instantiate adaptive approaches for seamlessly integrating diverse groups of Soldiers with multiple agents into highly effective teams and tactical networks. These Soldiers will be better able to rapidly develop situational understanding and management of complex environments with highly capable, adaptive enemies and make quick, informed and accurate decisions to maintain overmatch in tactical engagements.


Last Update / Reviewed: May 10, 2018