Exploring trust in unmanned systems with the Maritime Unmanned System Trust Game

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Francesca De_RosaChristopher Strode

Abstract: The use of Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS) is a quickly maturing technology, but for some security and defence operations we are still lacking the required doctrinal development, moreover trust in MUS has been identified as one of the main pillars (more like road-block or mitigation) of the adoption of such technology in the short term. Trust in automation and autonomy is an important and complex mental construct, which has been demonstrated to be based on several underpinning factors (e.g., attention capacity, user workload, prior experience, user situational awareness, system behaviour, dependability, reliability, predictability, level of automation, failure rate, false alarms and transparency). With the goal of increasing the understanding of the operational tasks in future environments and steering future scientific developments, we designed the Maritime Unmanned Systems Trust (MUST) Game. The MUST Game is an analytical game which goal is to capture beliefs, attitude and perspectives of the participants with respect to the employment of MUS in maritime applications. This game aims at better understanding the relation between trust factors and MUS in missions. This paper presents the results of the analysis of the data collected through the deployment of the MUST Game in three distributed exercises, where the term distributed refers both to time and location. The game explored how players make decisions with respect to MUS deployments as the scenario threat level increases. This allows to capture important information on the trade-offs related to MUS use having an impact on mission planning activities (e.g., endurance, logistics, maintenance, cost, number of assets, security and type of assets). Additionally to the relative importance of the decision factors, important observations emerged during gameplay relating to: (i) the unique considerations of the use of MUS in maritime operations compared to other domains, (ii) potential barriers and the political component of the use of MUS, (iii) the importance of the human component, (iv) the legal and ethical dimensions (i.e., interaction with commercial shipping), (v) the tendency towards employing mixed (manned and unmanned) forces and (vi) the need for decision support systems. The outcomes of this analysis are expected to contribute to the development of effective decision support systems and to further research efforts conducted in the field.

Keywords: analytical game, maritime unmanned systems, trust

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002133

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