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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

HMI and engineering

I received a call tonight. Not just a pedestrian call, but one that in retrospect made me think. One I was not expecting was a plus!

I will save this for a much longer post, but the topic is this. Humans design control systems and humans must interpret them and act upon them. They (engineers and end users) nowadays seem to come at it with competing viewpoints. The fact relayed to me today is that engineering can be used to try to reconstruct what went wrong between the humans and the machine. That is wonderful, but I fear that the human training element is lacking nowadays. On both ends.

When I get back I will post about how humans could do nothing to change what was going to happen due to bad engineering. I will then tell how humans overcame a human error that threw the technology in the ditch, but not because of the technology. It worked fine given its constraints.

I fear that we are lacking the training for humans to master what other humans create. More importantly the will to decide the machine is lying and take control without assistance from the algorithms and programming others have made seems to be lacking.  The skill to DO that successfully also seems to be lacking if it becomes needed. 


  1. Amen brother. As an estimator, I really cannot believe the quality of the work that has been coming across my desk the last few years. YOU get paid to design it, I get paid to build it. The training (or pride in quality work) seems to have flown out the window.