I discussed this report elsewhere:
Just read a few good articles/books on this subject.
Intelligent agents provide a finesse, rather than a solution to the problem (Woods, Patterson, Roth, 2002). What needs to address data overload is to enable context-sensitivity in the cockpit. To date, we are not able to create intelligent agents able to achieve this, be they rule based expert systems, model based or based on AI
routines (Billings, 1997).
The human operator still provides a unique capability to switch the focus of attention to the part of the data field where it is needed the most (Woods et al). Automated agents still have a long way to go to be as capable in this respect. They also need to interface with the crew seamlessly, or they might add to rather than subtract from the data overload problem (Billings).
The very confirmation bias mentioned in the paper by Besnard & Greathead (2004) will in fact pose a problem when creating such adaptive agents. The operators might home in on the solutions presented by the system and fail to notice cues that the system did not account for, since it was not designed to do so, but which the operators probably would have noticed if left to their own devices.
We already know that this is a problem. We have a fairly good idea about how to resolve the situation. We are simply unable to achieve it, presently, and the article stops well short of where earlier work on the subject has taken us.
Besnard, D., Greathead, D. (2004). When mental models go wrong. Co-occurences in dynamic, critical systems
Billings, C.E. (1997). Aviation Automation - The Search for a Human-Centered Approach.
Woods D.D., Patterson E.S., Roth E.M. (2002). Can We Ever Escape From Data Overload? A Cognitive Systems Diagnosis. In Cognition, Technology and Work
Also worth a read:
Pritchett, A. R. (n.d). Reviewing the role of cockpit alerting systems. In Human Factors & Aerospace Safety
, (1, 5-38).
Rather basic, and very undigested so don’t let yourself be fooled by the referencing. This post does not by any means meet scientific standards. But IMO, that report contained nothing new or unknown to us, even if the papers made it a headline. They know that aviation accidents sell copies, I guess... *sigh*
Basically, the report only used the aircraft accident as a backdrop for a discussion on an entirely different subject. Unfortunately, it does not take more to wake up the papers. As far as adding to the aviation domain, it is sort of like saying that light twins need more reliable engines to be safer. D'oh...
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.