Transparency for future semi-automated systems : effects of transparency on operator performance, workload and trust

Abstract: More and more complex semi-automated systems are being developed, aiding human operators to collect and analyze data and information and even to recommend decisions and act upon these. The goal of such development is often to support the operators make better decisions faster, while at the same time decrease their workload. However, these promises are not always fulfilled and several incidents have highlighted the fact that the introduction of automated technologies might instead increase the need for human involvement andexpertise in the tasks carried out.The significance of communicating information regarding an automated system's performance and to explain its strengths and limitations to its operators is strongly highlighted within the system transparencyand operator-centered automation literature. However, it is not common that feedback containing system qualifiers is incorporated into the primary displays of the automated system, obscuring its transparency. In this thesis, we deal with the investigation of the effects of explaining and visualizing system reasoning and performance parameters in different domains on the operators' trust, workload and performance. Different proof-of-concept prototypes have been designed with transparency characteristics in mind, and quantitative and qualitative evaluations together with operators of these systems have been carried out.Our results show that the effects of automation transparency can positively influence the performance and trust calibration of operators of complex systems, yet possibly at the costs of higher workload and longer decision-making times. Further, this thesis provides recommendations for designers and developers of automated systems in terms of general design concepts and guidelines for developing transparent automated systems for the future.