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KEYNES ITS: Ht=N FACTORS RESEARCH FOR THE NASA SPACE STAIlON Allen Newell Symposia are held for many reasons. This one is to do a task. I hope you are intellectually stimulate by what you hear and will take away some new knowledge that you do not already possess. I also hope the symposiats have enhanced their own knowledge by.therr studies and are gratified by the chance to advance their views from this earth-bound, but otherwise splendid, platform. But neither of these has much to do with the actual reason for this symposium. We are here to help shape the research that NASA will perform on how humans interact with the technology of the space station. In a nutshell, and to state what I hope is already shared knowledge among us, operating in space poses extreme challenges. It is a . . . . . . . . . . . nostlle, ever elve, constra m m g and untorglv Meg environment. our intent ~~ a species to make such operations successful and to continuously extend their scope in complexity, duration, and usefulness is epitomized in NASA, and other space agencies around the world. It takes its concrete form by the posing of specific projects, each more daunting than the last, but (skillfully we hope) set just within the bourns of the reachable. For us tony bat project is the space station, a project winch an initial development phase prior to launch of a decade and a total lifetime of sever more decades. Such projects force us to not orgy use the best available technology arm science, but to en them substantially. For us today, ache question is what research is most needed that card have important payoff for the space station. It is not possible, of course, to encompass in a single effort all the technologies and science-= that support the space station. Thus, we focus on how humans and technology can cooperate to carry out the operations of the space station. We will speak today almost entirely of the space station. That is proper, because we need projects to give as much form as possible to a future which is almost agonizably open. But, such far-future projects are emblematic of entire technological futures. Thus, behind the space station is to be seen an entire spectrum of future space systems, replete with auto meted and robotic devices, while also being a habitat for humans. Indeed, the space station is itself not a single envisioned system, but a projected series that stretches out in time and evolves in significant ways. Only occasionally will we have need to distinguish even between such relatively concrete visions as the IOC 17

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18 and SSOC. The research talked about here in the context of the space station is what we see as necessary to this entire technological future. This is our task. Its success can be measured by the influence of this symposium on how humans and technology actually work together. Do the crews that run the space station, both on the ground and in space, have an easier, safer, more productive time than would otherwise have happened? We are only one player in the hundreds of individuals, groups and organizations that affect what goes into the space station, and a highly transient one at that. Our only leverage is the cogency of the ideas we put forth. Still, we fail if nothing ~ ~ n stream is different because of what we say here today. It is not enough to have an effect, it must be the right kind of effect at the right place and time. Furthermore, the effect depends not only on NASA decisions about its research program, but also on the quality of the research that is thereby enabled, and whether its results transfer into the operational space station--a notoriously tenuous= conjunctive chain. Still, though we talk here today of possible research, we hope for operational results. My Ok, right now, is to get us launched--to set the stage and provide the context for the papers you will hear ever the next two days. I will only take a few minutes to do this. But some overview will help us to keep on track throughout ache meeting. 1 Hi: FIGURE 1 Artist's construction of the Space Station, due to launch 1996

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# 19 THE SPACE SIAITON Let's start with the space station itself--although I am hardly the one to do so, with an audience that contains many with active responsibilities for it. Still, even I know enough to start with the obligatory picture (Figure 1). This is of course a fantasy, composed from the minds of many persons and living only there and derivatively On the minds of receptive audiences. In accordance with its fantasy character, it changes continually--if not daily, at least monthly. The planners harden the fantasy with physical mcKkNps that can be walked in and gawked at. That helps, but the time constants to realization are still of the order of half-decades. This wav of talking ascot the scare station mav induce a sense of , _ .. , _ _~ ~ A ~ ~ _ _ fragili by. That could De a goon thing, if it brings with it an Increased sense of commitment to making it happen. However', my actual objective is to induce a sense that much can change in the space station before it takes its place in the sky and, indeed, after it does. If we are to consider' launching research in 1987 and expect it to have cgerational impact, then the time scale of that operational world must be sufficiently long and its character sufficiently malleable. Planning--even research planning--must have same grip on reality. Thus, we neck to focus on the hard constraints on the space station ~ the ones that appear to hold no matter what, and on which we can build securely. Table 1 presents three handfuls--alrea~y more than can be assimilated in an introduction. mese constraints are what strike a technically observant human-factors specialist immediately upon hearing a briefing on the station. They are the constraints that shape the roles that humans must play and the tasks they must perform to make the space station function. What makes them unyielding is the IABlE 1 The Hard Constraints that Apply to the Space Station 1. Long lifetime of the station (decades). 2. Medium term crew residence on board "months). 3. Small qrcup of residents aloft (less than ten, to begin with). 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. , , Large group of operators (non-residents) aground (hundred=). Very small amounts of r Sources available per resident. Very ~~a11 amounts of space available per resident. Infrequent physical communication (months). Continue us, but limited-bandwidth communication. Time delay of station communication of .5 to 2 seconds. Modest time constants of action (minutes to hours). Weightlessness. Cont~nuc us, high task load. Continuous high threat-leveI of many potential errors. Continuous public exposure. Completely artificial environment.

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20 limited state of cur space technology, the primary goals set for the station, and the necessity of acquiring certain experiences as stepping stones to future technological frontiers. No matter how technology changes we must pass this way to move forward--not, of course, with the exact particularities of the space station we will build, but through something with the general characteristics listed in Table 1. Many familiar things follow fort this: the general strangeness of the weightiness world an] its frustrations; the isolation of the station grc up, coupled with the lack of privacy and the extent to which members are locked in; the public work-oriented, regimented world; the complete dependence on the efforts of others; the stress of bonny living close to fatal errors. By and large, humans respond adaptively to all these conditions. Still, humans An space must s ~ their psychic resources to cope with these conditions, rather than spend it in other more productive ways. One striking thing is how saturated with technology the life of the station will be. This is completely true of those stationed aboard, but is almost as true of those aground for their workaday world, although they get to go home to the grass each evening. Another strik mg thing is that the residence time-scale is long enough so that many functions have to be ao30=modated that can be avoided An shorter flights. m e station appears to be a microcosm of life- so many activities must occur that one can find any problem or took one looks for, or at 1-ass a close analog. Now, An fact, this is not quite so. Many function_, such as raising a family, becc=ln; educated, maying to a new home, and planning retirement, do not show up at time scale= even as long ~.c months. And to those concerned with the man-machine ~ m On the modern fighter plane, where the focus is on action_ 'n the subsecond range, the station will appear downright leisurely. That the space station occupies a middle range in the total timescale of human action is a significant simplification--a we will discover when we have to plan permanent space or lunar stations. But even so, from the perspective of a human factors analyst, the space station has moved a long ways toward total living and not just temporarily occupied workspace. Along with that has come an almost un-cnw=erable collection of tasks that humans must perform, and the need for designing the artificial environment in which to perform them. Still the tasks must be enumerated. One of the great liabilities of technologist environments is that they don't take care of theme elves not yet and for same time to come. m e tasks to be performed in the station and between ground and station most be enumerated and explicitly planned for. What we fail to enumerate here below is in parlous state up above. There will always be true stories about the navel activities of intelligent astronauts, solving life-critic=] problems or having fun ~ wars we could not Predict. Bless them for that. to the need for less preparation. And preparation Impales expects balk description and enema ration. NASA, of course, has gone to great lengths to do this. Table 2 provides some reminders of what those enumerations cover. , _ But let no one argue back from that blessed fact _ . e a _ a _ e a a

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! 21 me left hand cold simply lists Ache various subsystems involved, so one gets same notion of divers)=. With respect to each of these there are dry actual tasks to be performed. to enumerate then is to des ~ ad into the technological gritty of each type of system. But various types of activities that go into these tasks can be identified, which is what the right hand column shows. These generic activities come ~ indefinite variety as well, in terms of what must actually be accomplished, with what initial knowledge, an] against what constraints. Finally, ~ have put across the bottom what is perhaps the most important factor, namely, that the time scale aver which these tasks endure stretches from less than a second to about four months -seven powers of ten. Each task in its individu~Ji~y fits into this time-stretch at some point. But every *oration contains t=.=ks of every type. m ere are two points and one conclusion to be made from all this. First, ~ would impress upon you that there are an almost unimaginable variety of tasks, which contain almost any combination of task demands one cares to contemplate. Second, the vast majority of these Inks are to be accomplishes! by same c~nbinErtion of hens and technology. To be sure, at the tip ultimately there is a pure human, if only a congressman; and at the bottom there is a pure machine, if only a pu~tton making an electric contact. It follows that we can consider t - my only a selection of all the problems. We will of cue seek for reseat that is generic In its character and that will impact large classes of these tasks. But Munich that is important will not ever, be mer~tioned. ]=CE 2 Types of C>n-Station Tasks for ache Space Station Hysteric; Generic functions Pare': Guidarx~e & navigation Fornication & tradki~ Day hailing P~lsion Err~rin~nt=1 control and life sort Structures/mechanisms crew systems Payloads (regiments, manufacturer, Observations) Parer handling Ch~ut Mechanical ac~tion Data harrying and ~ = nication Monitoring/control Computation, decision and planning Fault diagnosis and handling Sensing .] see 1 see ~ see 10 sec 100 see 103 see 1 min see sec 1 hour 1 day month

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22 TO TECHNOI=Y OF INTERACTION me classing situation of human factors has been ~t an irx~ustrial or mid ivory organization develops some machine to do scam tack. me h~nan~rator asters of conJcrollin~t this machine are] of being trained to do so are Sac with in due course. In the best of music, this occurs early enough to permit modest alteration of the engineering of the interface. But in the main, the technology of the machine is autonomous and fixed. With the advances in artificial intelligence and computer science in general, and in computer interfaces in particular, the situation is changing--and changing in several ways simLltanecusly. First, the machines are becoming more complex, yet capable of more autonomy and Intel igence at the same time. Second, the interfaces themselves are becoming more intelligent so that they can aid the user and cooperate cc~peratively with him. Third, all interface= are becomm g alike in their utilization of a common hardware and software technolcgy. Finally--and of a different order entirely--the technolcgy on which all this is based in itself undergoing rapid evolution, so that all the features just mentioned are not new fixities that can be depended upon, but are themselves on the move. All of these current truths have double for me for the space station, which is located a long ways in the future. Let ,,~ focus on each of them in turn. Machines are controllable arrangements of matter and energy that do things to the physical world. (Thus, toolsaremacolnes.) The ability to be controlled is of their essence, for it is bat changes then, AL hero parts of the world, fray a thing that can be taker advantage of (as to drink flit i a brooklet happened upon) to a thing that can be use at will (as to turn on a faucet wherever Jchi~s=~. So machines bring with then the problem of the h~nan-machine ~n~rfa~-, and necessarily those interfaces are dynamic and continue throughout the duration of use. As machines become more capable, through the rational foresight of their designers and the skill of their builders, the tasks that machines can do without human intervention increase. Although the real measure is ~ the iotas range of useful tasks they can accomplish with acceptable reliability, an appropriate indicator is be l~h of time machines can go without interaction with humans. WiJch this increased she cams inevitably the parables of who shed do a Cask, the human or the machine. Formally, this is exactly the same as the problem of nether this human or that should do a task, or nether this machine or blat. Hover, because of the category difference, the htunan-madhine Cession is in to have a mom proffer character and it becomes the focus of scientific attention. It is a surrogate, of course, for cur new to understarx] the advancing capabilities of madhin~c. m at question is finally abcut to Charge its form radically. me advances in computers and computation have now been driving exponentially for forty years. All parts of that advance are significant for us t~v, in part because they all interrelate. m e driver of it all, we always say, is the cost/performance of the computing devices and the level of their integration. But by this time

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23 that itself depends on software design systems with quality graphics. So it is all one ball of wax. Nevertheless, the parts here the advances tough us the most here today is in r~30tics, artificial intelligence ant Me technology of the h~nan~r~uter interface. Through these, the account of ~nt=~ligence that can be incorporated into machines is now reaching the place where the problem of assignment of functions to men or to machines no Former holds any charm. The question Test be F ~ s ~ How can h ~ no ark technologies cooperate to attain a set of syst~m-level goals. The situation at the interface between the human and some machines provides a good example of the increase in the capabilities that are available, with a concomitant increase in the complexity for those of us who design and understand these systems. As machines increase in capability, interfacing to them becomes a complex balk ~ its own right and requires substantial knowledge about what is required to communicate knowledge back and forth languages, protocols, communication over intermediate links, the status and location of the communicants, and on into the night. The solution is to have special agents that have this knowledge or know how to acquire it, ~ short, intelligent interface agents. But such agents imply that knowledge about how things work will be distributed woof what good are such agents unless they relieve other parts of the system of the responsibility for having Pertain knowledge and skills? But this reinforces the point made earlier that it no longer makes any sense to cast the problem of how humans work with technology in exclusive terms of who controls wham. Rather, it must be in how agents embodying distributed sources of knowledge cooperate. One more point about the technology and I am done with it. If LISA had to settle for the level of ~nte71igence in current robotic and expert systems, this symposium would have a very different character. We have, of course, come a long way in computer science in the last forty years an] this is plainly evident in existing robotic and ~7 ligent systems. But the changes are proceeding very rapidly and substantially more capabilities can be expected to be available in another five years or in five years more age m. This introduce uncertainty into cur proceedings, for we must not only talk of what new research Bight bring, but must place this against a background that will increase in possibilities no matter what NASA does. But this same motion also adds to the sense of excitement of the new powers that are possible in the space station. The space station, by being a project measured in terms of decades, both suffers and benefits in the extreme from this motion of technology. RESF~H OBJECTIVES Given the picture just sketched of Arks and technology, the question of the day is what research should be done. The substantive answers to that question are the resE'onsibili~, of the spea~rs of this sy~imn. ~ would orgy ask you to keep three general considerations . . , On me ..

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24 First, the research topics raised here range widely from artificial intelligence, to the human-computer interface, to telerobotics, to issues of social organization. These are not just a congeries, brought together to obtain coverage. They are all facets of how humans are to interact with the primary technology of the space station, and what technologies are involved in that interaction. A research program needs to address all these aspects in some coherent way, and not treat them as separate questions. Second, we have had to sample to focus on some issues and to neglect others. But the research program needs to consider the full range of phenomena. It is in research plans, and the study efforts that support them, that one engages in the compulsive attempts to taxonomize the domains and worry seriously about coverage and missing elements. A symposium is to make clear the fruitfulness of research areas and to show that there are exciting research questions. Attempts at completeness and evenhandedness WoN1d only dull the senses. Third, with more glibness than honesty, I have just shifted an immense burgeon flus the symposium spearers to the symposium participants ~ or at least some of them. For, of course, the domain of research is so broad that coverage is a chimera. blat is especially true if one thinks of research as devoted to getting answers to specific questions about a specifically configured space station. Such answers must be obta~ned~that is what engineering requires. And in the present context it is human engineering and even organizational engineering. A research program that is in effect a systematic and planned program of human and organizational engineering, with the resources to do some background studies, cannot possibly provide the coverage that is necessary. Emus, the research program must be aimed at discovering conceptual, theoretical and technical tools ~ ~~ ~ ~ and organizational engineering of the sna~- oreat~r efficiency and accuracy. that Will permit the human ~ _ _~__ station to proceed with ___ _ , _ ~ Only if a research pro gram advances the theoretical state of Uhe art, including Therein systematic organizations of data that permit answering a multitude of questions, will it-serve NEST in the decades it takes to achieve the space station. ME INS~O~L CON~r Thus far, like a good cobbler, I have stuck to my last, discussing the substantive issues. But it is important to say something about the institutional context in which the symposium occurs. Blessedly, I need not take my point of departure frump the current spasm of reflection, critique an] renewal that has keen the fallout of the Challenger disaster. For our timescale is too long for that to count as more than a transient. At least that is true if NASA can continue in its planful ways, which it shows every sign of doing. Thus, in setting cut the institutional context I will not taLk about the microstructure of command and timing that will, in fact, have the lion's share of responsibility for whether ardor trace of this sy~osium's efforts survives these too days. Instead, ~ will point to larger entities.

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25 Let us start with NASA. It is, of course, the primary player. It is its space station, after all. Its primary view of human factors considerations has got to be simply as an ingredient to make the space station better-- a factor of production, in the econc mist 's sense. That view leads 1nevit~hly to working backwards from specific questions about the space station to specific studies to answer them. After all, ~ the logic of planful organizations: To get X, set up a plan for getting X. Furthermore, the cogency of a plan can only be apparent if it explicitly and recognizably puts down each step, frum what is available initially to the obtaining of X. This leads to a thoroughly applied effort and one characterized by short-range goals with tight loops of justification. Such a logic is certainly appropriate in part--after all, if NASH doesn't do the studies to deliver the answers it needs on the ~tty-grit~y of the space station, who else will? But the timescale of the space station is long enough so that other attitude= are appropriate as well. NASA can change the available science enough to make a difference to the space station itself. And to do that the rP=p~rch must be launched on a broader and freer path, letting it pick its way among the interesting questions of today to the different questions of tomorrow. The issue for MESA then is whether it will rise above the immediate applied questions of human factors to which the safety and productivity of the astronauts we 1 force attendance in any event to the faith that major gains for the space station can be attained f ~ u supporting heroic long-term research. Each of us has cur own stories of where such long range research by an institution has made immense differences to the downstream operation of that institution. Not being a NA5A insider, TO stories of that ilk do not come from NINA. But even to an outsider it is apparent that there must be a whole book full of such stories. After all, space science is an almost new science, even though, as always with science, it has a whole tangle of historical roots in early rocketry, astronomy, and more. And space science is practically a creature of NASA, so NA5A must know all about the gains from bringing a new science along. Nevertheless, it may be worth recounting briefly one of my own stories. This is nARpAts creation of the field of artificial intelligence and expert-systems technology. D~RPA did not start artificial intelligence, that occurred in the mid 1950s. But only a few years afterwards, in the early 1960s, D~RPA began its open support of that part of computer science. It did so in an essentially free spirit and mixed with the many other things it was also supporting, such as time sharing, graphics, mLltiprccessors (Illiac IV) and networking. The support was substantial, but was far freon being the d~ating ion In the mix of SPA preens. The important At, from the present point of view, is that DARPA started its support In 1962. By 1972, a mere decade later, ache first expert system had Sun to urge Derx3~1 and Nycin. By 1982, only one more decade, the crucial ization of expert systems had begun . Today, five years later, though still a green and nascent technology, it has benzene the property of us all. It has beck ntegral to Ash of DOD's own future and is near integral to our discussions here. But for a~st all the first twenty years, PUPA was essentially the only support for

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26 artificial intelligence. (My friends from ONR and from NIH-supported AID (AI in medic me) may be a little annoyed at so sweeping a claim; yet it remains close to true.) Thus, we see that an agency can bring into existence wholly new techniques and ideal for its own use downstream. It cannot usually be done In less than a decade. But in timscales that are cam=ensurate with the space station, such things are possible. And their payoff is incalculable. The second major player is the collection of scientists and engineers who will conduct the research. This is not a homcgenous grc up. post immediately, the scientific cadres within NOVA concerned with human factors and artificial intelligence are to be distinguished f ~~ the scientists in the universities and research organizations across the country. Each clearly plays a different role, although, in the style of the times, strong attempts exist to weld these into a more continuous community, with the e=~hli~nt of places such ~~ the NASA R search Institute at Stanford University. The more important inhomogeneity is among the social institutions we calf professions an] disciplines. Focus narrowly on the human-science issue= concern mg the space station, and ignore totally the half-hundred natural-science and engineering disciplines concerned with the physical structures in the space effort. However, a gaggle of disciplines are still gathered around this s ~ ly narrow focus. Alphabetically, they are: artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, computer science, human factors, industrial engineering, organization theory, robotics, social psychology, sociology. I have no dcNbt Overlooked some, but all these, at least, are represented among the speakers of this symposium. The inhomogeneity here arises from two sources. First, the issues of the space station involve multiple technologies, and the relevant human Phenomena are so diverse that they necessarily make contact with different human sciences. But record, multiple h~nan-science disciplines focus on the same Phenomena, but do so from different Natives. In particular, the emergence of the cc ~ uter as a mass ~ibenomena has raised the prcblen of human-comput~r interaction to prominence. At least four disciplines artificial 1nt=1ligence, cognitive psychology, computer science (mostly graphics and interface programs m g) and human factored are currently engaged in forming an inter~iscipl~ne called human-computer interaction (HCI). The effort is currently focused on the individual in interaction with the computer via a system of interaction mechanisms (displays, keyboards, pointers, etc.). It is acknowledging, though only gradually, social and communicative dimensions. The conceptual and disciplinary turbulence involved In all this is both part of the inhomogeneity of the current scene and revelatory of it. HCI is only one part of the human-relet ~ issue of the space station, though a significant one. m e NASA situation that we discuss at this symposium provides an cpportunity for these disciplines. They can, of course, treat the NA5A problems as if they were just another collection of interesting situations in which to ply their investigatory trade. Our nation blessedly, once aga~n--is extraordinarily pluralistic. Thil=, NASA research contracts and grants can be taken as providing additional

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27 m~cro-research opportunities in a larger mix. important one. But the NOSE situation provides a larger cpporbunity, or at least it does if MESA chooses to mate that opportunity available. The space station provides a unique focus for the development of the science of how humans interact in a technology-saturated environment. By reaching so far ahead of the degree of saturation in the rest of current society, it offers a chance to study a world well ahead of its time. It is a unique cpporbunity in this historical moment, although it will become less so as the saturation of the rest of the world proceeds. It is important to realize that In applied sciences technological foci have an immense influence on the character of the science. One Hal only to think of the influence on human factors of its being nurtured by the aircraft industry, while being relatively ignored by other industries. mans, NASA has a fleeting opportunity to bend the twig of HCI to a long-term concentration on aspects especially relevant to N~SA's interests. m is is one view and an ENVOI the ingredients of the symposium have now been assembled before your very eyes--the space station; the tacks of human-technology interaction; the technologies that are both the object of that interaction and the means to make it work; the orientation towards the research that needs to be done; and the institutional setting within which this symposium must make its contribution. Let us now move to the substantive papers.

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