“Tasking” Interfaces for Flexible Interaction with Automation: Keeping the Operator in Control
Keywords: tasking interfaces, levels of automation, UCAV
Abstract: The ongoing debate in the HCI community between direct manipulation and intelligent, automated agents points to a fundamental problem in complex systems. Humans want to remain in charge even if they don’t want to (or can’t) make every action and decision themselves. We have been exploring a middle road through “tasking interfaces”— interfaces which share a task model with a projective planner to enable human operators to flexibly “call plays” (i.e., stipulate plans) to various levels of abstraction, leaving the remainder to be fleshed out by the planner. The result is akin to ‘tasking’ a knowledgeable subordinate with more or less detailed instructions. We describe a prototype tasking interface for Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicles (UCAVs).