Sense of Control in Supervision Tasks of Automated Systems


Bruno Berberian, Patrick Le Blaye, Nicolas Maille, Jean-Christophe Sarrazin

We live in an increasingly technological world. Automated systems certainly can make life easier, but they can also create complexity and uncertainty. Moreover, it is clear that automation does not merely supplant human activity, but also transforms the nature of human work. This review examines an original account of this transformation – a link between automation technology and the sense that our actions cause effects on the outside world (so-called ‘agency’). Accordingly, we first discuss the human factor issues related to automation technology. Particularly, we introduce the out-of-the-loop performance problem. Then, we introduce recent  findings about agency. We propose that several recently developed psychological approaches to the self-promise to enhance our comprehension of the transformation induced by increased automation. Next, we address the controversial issue of agency measuring, particularly the necessary dissociation between explicit and implicit agency  measurement. In particular, we introduce the intentional binding effect as an implicit agency measurement, and we discuss the problems and issues related to the generalization of this effect to more complex situations. Finally, we suggest that the investigation of this authorship processing in the field of human-machine interaction may be fruitful, both to elaborate concrete design recommendations and to evaluate the potentiality for an HMI to satisfy the agency mechanism.

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