Clemson University

School of Computing Seminar with Eric Vorm, U.S. Naval Research Lab

Dynamics of Human Machine Teaming: Opportunities and Challenges


For as long as we have record of human history, human beings have created tools to help them perform work. We have excelled at creating systems that enable dull, dirty and dangerous tasks to be performed safely and with greater reliability and efficiency than humans could ever perform alone. For some tasks, however, especially those that are highly complex and require degrees of communication and cooperation, the road to automation nirvana has been a rocky one. Today, artificial intelligence has enabled systems that can not only perform simple, routine tasks by themselves, but has also enabled systems that can learn new rules, develop new operating parameters, and choose which behaviors to perform without any human intervention or direction. Systems that embody these unprecedented levels of autonomous behavior are being developed at an alarming rate, with the same promises as always to make our lives easier, and to take care of the dirty and dangerous work. Will this new generation of smart machines shed previous generations’ reputations and achieve the coveted title of “teammate?” Or will history repeat itself as we suffer from new versions of old problems? In this talk, we will review many of the most persistent problems of human-automation interaction, and explore a variety of research questions that remain unanswered. Challenges abound in the realm of human-machine teaming, but so do opportunities. Get ready to learn! 



Eric S. Vorm is an Aerospace Experimental Psychologist at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. Eric researches human-autonomy interaction and seeks to develop theories and methods to ensure appropriate and reliable human-machine teaming. His 15 years of service in the US Navy has taken him all over the world where he has helped design cockpit interfaces for fighter jets and unmanned aerial vehicles, created decision support tools for geospatial satellite communications and strategic planning, and even developed advanced techniques to fall sleep almost anywhere (the trick is to be really, really tired). He holds a doctorate in Human-Computer Interaction from Indiana University, is a member of the Human Factors Specialist Team for unmanned vehicles at NATO, and serves as the Chief of Human-Systems Integration at the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. 

Host: Nathan McNeese,, 814-880-7203

Friday, January 17 at 2:30pm to 3:30pm

McAdams Hall, 114
821 McMillan Rd., Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Event Type

Lectures / Seminars / Speakers


College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, School of Computing, Research Seminars

Target Audience

Students, Faculty




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