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Human-Collective Teams: Algorithms, Transparency & Resilience

April 30, 2021

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Biological inspiration for artificial systems abounds. The science to support robotic collectives continues to emerge based on their biological inspirations, spatial swarms (e.g., fish and starlings) and colonies (e.g., honeybees and ants). Developing effective human-collective teams requires focusing on all aspects of the integrated system development. This presentation will focus on three aspects: algorithms, transparency and resilience for collectives. Very large numbers of simplistic individuals use biologically inspired algorithms to solve more complex problems. The size and complexity of these systems precludes a human’s ability to fully understand and communicate with each individual in the collective. Thus, transparency into the collective’s state and influencing its actions are a significant challenge that requires a close coupling with the underlying algorithms. This presentation will demonstrate a means of providing transparency and permitting influence over collectives. Finally, biological collectives are highly resilient to system disruptions, a feature that is an underlying expectation of robotic swarms. The questions to be addressed include how to ensure such resilience exists and how to assess this characteristic in robotic collectives, and how resilience impacts human teaming with collectives.

Dr. Julie A. Adams was the founder of the Human-Machine Teaming Laboratory at Vanderbilt University, prior to moving the laboratory to Oregon State. Adams has worked in the area of human-machine teaming for thirty years. Throughout her career she has focused on human interaction with unmanned systems, but also focused on manned civilian and military aircraft at Honeywell, Inc. and commercial, consumer and industrial systems at the Eastman Kodak Company. Her research, which is grounded in robotics applications for domains such as first response, archaeology, oceanography, the national airspace, and the U.S. military, focuses on distributed artificial intelligence, swarms, robotics and human-machine teaming. Dr. Adams received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.S. in Computer Science and B.B.E. in Accounting from Siena College.

10:00-11:00am (AZ): Talk

11:00am-11:30pm (AZ): Guided Q&A

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Human, AI and robot teaming