Kairos to Study Human-Machine Teaming in Intelligence Analysis

Kairos Research has joined forces with North Carolina State University’s Laboratory for Analytic Sciences (LAS) to study the impact of AI-based automation on human cognition and performance in intelligence analysis. The collaborative project, titled Assessing Latent Cognitive States in Human-Machine Teams, will examine the interplay between trust (i.e., the level of trust a human analyst has in their machine counterpart), the cognitive state of the analyst, and the overall task performance of the human-machine team.

LAS is a collaboration between government analysts, academics, and industry professionals. According to the Laboratory’s website, the goal of LAS is to “create innovative technology that bolsters national security and improves intelligence analysis.”

Dr. Cara Widmer, a Kairos Research Scientist and project lead for the effort, noted that one of the main motivations for working with LAS is their unique emphasis on studying human-machine collaboration in the context of intelligence analysis, which resonates strongly with Kairos’s own research portfolio. “Our team has extensive experience conducting applied cognitive science research for the US Intelligence Community and Department of Defense,” said Dr. Widmer, “with a particular emphasis on understanding how to optimally leverage the complementary abilities of humans and machines to improve analytic sensemaking.”

Dr. Amy Summerville, a Kairos Senior Research Scientist who is also working on the project, pointed out that, “there is unlikely to be a one-size-fits-all approach to designing human-machine teams. Not only will the structure and composition of the team vary as a function of the details of the analytic task, but the team’s performance may also depend on the individual ‘cognitive style’ of the human analyst, and how well that style aligns with the decision-making behaviors of the AI teammate.” As the project progresses, the Kairos team will continue to work closely with LAS staff to identify opportunities for transitioning the products of their research to Intelligence Community analysts.

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