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Clemson researcher awarded nearly $245,000 to study automation trust and dependence
Date:8/7/2012

The United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research awarded Clemson University a three-year, approximately $245,000 grant to determine what causes people to trust and rely on automation. The Air Force is reacting to two major trends: increased computerization and an aging population.

This research will seek to answer the following questions:

  • Why do people continue to use unreliable automation?
  • Why do people not use reliable automation?
  • How do we get people to change their behavior about reliable and unreliable automation?

Our focus is to study how to make automated systems that people can trust and use. Automated systems permeate our lives and people seem to have a complicated relationship with automation.

Examples of everyday automation include: the spell-checker in email that highlights misspelled words; the assistant on cell-phone sites that help you pick the best phone and plan based on your usage; and the virtual assistant, Siri, that lives within the iPhone 4S. There are many other examples of everyday automated systems that millions of people encounter every day.

Our research will determine what makes automation trustworthy. Younger and older adults are likely to respond to automation in different ways. For example, younger adults may have less of a need for automation but older adults, because of normal age-related changes in memory and attention, are likely to need more help in understanding the myriad of choices available to them.

Choosing a cell phone plan and service is one example, but a more complex example is selecting a supplemental Medicare coverage or understanding when to take medications if one is diabetic. Healthcare is experiencing rapid changes, such as fewer doctors and less face time with healthcare providers, which means that patients may be interacting with web-based or mobile automated systems at home that will help diagnose or treat the
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Contact: Brian Mullen
mullen2@clemson.edu
864-656-2063
Clemson University
Source:Eurekalert  

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Clemson researcher awarded nearly $245,000 to study automation trust and dependence
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