Title: Blended Intelligence and Human Agency
In cognitive-science the sense of agency is defined as the experience of controlling one’s actions and, through this control, effecting the external world. It is a crosscutting experience, linking to concepts such as free-will and causality and having a significant impact on how we perceive the world. This project will investigate people’s sense of agency when interacting with intelligent systems (e.g. voice agents). Whereas past research has explored situations where actions can be clearly identified as voluntary or involuntary, intelligent environments blur this distinction. E.g. intelligent systems often interpret our intentions and act on our behalf. How this blending of intention/action impacts the sense of agency is poorly understood. The project is suitable for a candidate interested in Human Computer Interaction. They will develop speech and VR systems that require human-computer cooperation and conduct studies to assess the impact of blended intelligence on people’s experience of agency. The research has direct implications for technologies ranging from driverless cars to intelligent personal assistants in phones.