A key ingredient in effective teams – whether athletic, business, or military – is trust, which is based in part on mutual understanding of team members’ competence to fulfill assigned roles. When it comes to forming effective teams of humans and autonomous systems, humans need timely and accurate insights about their machine partners’ skills, experience, and reliability to trust them in dynamic environments. At present, autonomous systems cannot provide real-time feedback when changing conditions such as weather or lighting cause their competency to fluctuate. The machines’ lack of awareness of their own competence and their inability to communicate it to their human partners reduces trust and undermines team effectiveness.
To help transform machines from simple tools to trusted partners, DARPA today announced the Competency-Aware Machine Learning (CAML) program. CAML aims to develop machine learning systems that continuously assess their own performance in time-critical, dynamic situations and communicate that information to human team-members in an easily understood format.
“If the machine can say, ‘I do well in these conditions, but I don’t have a lot of experience in those conditions,’ that will allow a better human-machine teaming,” said Jiangying Zhou, a program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office. “The partner then can make a more informed choice.”