1983-10-03

A Philosophy of Automation 831501

The use of automatic systems to reduce operator workload and improve performance must be carefully monitored to ensure that the master/servant relationship is properly preserved and that human operators are in fact in command. Critical decision-making functions must not be automated away from a commander's control, nor should he be exposed to uncertainty and frustration from not knowing what an automatic system is doing. The role of automatic systems relating to the piloting of aircraft is examined to illustrate both the proper and improper use of automatic systems, and the addition to transport aircraft of flight-critical functions which can be controlled only by automatic systems is questioned.

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