Transparency for Robots: Why does it matter?

Event Speaker
Julie A. Adams
Professor, Computer Science, Associate Director of Research, CoRIS, Oregon State University
Event Type
Tech Talk
Event Location
Event Description

Robots are becoming more common and will become a larger part of our everyday lives. These robots will be making decisions regarding how to respond to known and previously unseen situations, often in the confluence of humans. Trust and explainability are considered important characteristics of the human-robot relationships, however, a significantly broader set of characteristics must be considered to develop robots that people truly understand. Transparency is the overall concept encompassing this broader set of characteristics necessary to enable human’s understanding of the system relative to the system’s intent, plans and reasoning. This presentation will define transparency and its implications on human understanding of robots across exemplar domains, such as pandemic contact tracing, ocean sampling, and heterogeneous swarms.

Speaker Biography

Julie A. Adams is the Associate Director of Research in the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute, Professor of Computer Science in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Professor (courtesy) of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University. She was the founder of the Human-Machine Teaming Laboratory at Vanderbilt University, prior to moving the laboratory to Oregon State. Adams has worked in the area of human-machine teaming for over 25 years. Throughout her career she has focused on human interaction with unmanned systems, but also focused on manned civilian and military aircraft at Honeywell, Inc. and commercial, consumer and industrial systems at the Eastman Kodak Company. Adams received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.S. in Computer Science and B.B.E. in Accounting from Siena College.

Adams’ research efforts have been featured in international news outlets, including National Geographic, Scientific American Podcast, Der Spiegel, and BBC on-line. Adams was the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and was selected for the DARPA Computer Science Study Panel. She is a contributor to the National Academies report on Mainstreaming UUVs into the fleet for the CNO and to an Army BAST requested report on counter measures for UAVs. Adams is also the Oregon State University primary investigator to the FAA Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aerial Systems Research Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE).

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