A comparison of tactical leader decision making between automated and live counterparts in a virtual environment
Patton, Scott A.
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The use of responsible autonomous systems may not be far away. Prior to developing or using responsible autonomous systems, it may be important to know if tactical leaders would make different types of decisions with automated systems than they would make with a human live crew. This work attempts to determine if decisions, time to make decisions, and confidence in decisions differ when tactical leaders rely on an autonomous wingman or a live wingman. Virtual Battlespace Simulation 2 was used to provide the virtual environment in which 30 military personnel completed a simulated mission that entailed five decision points. Participants were randomly assigned to have an autonomous or live wingman. Decision patterns were compared to a standard based on Army Doctrine for mechanized infantry Bradley sections and subject matter experts. Results indicated no significant group difference in decisions made, time to make decisions, and confidence in decisions. However, significant group differences emerged in the aspects of the wingman that participants trusted most and least. Although most participants indicated that they would not trust autonomous wingmen in real combat, results suggest that participants would revert to doctrinal decisions when faced with an unambiguous situation with an unmanned system with which they had some experience.
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