Description The Trust and Influence program is motivated by recent technological advances in the area of unmanned and autonomous systems, and the strategic environment that the U.S. Air Force is expected to face in the future; a significant departure from that which has dominated most of its history. The Air Force is facing a broader range of threats that are less predictable, with many conflicts occurring in failed or failing states that include radical extremists and a wide range of non-state actors. Moreover, the rapid advances and proliferation of advanced autonomous systems are expected to fundamentally change the way the Air Force operates. To address these challenges, the Trust and Influence program invests in the development of the theoretical and empirical foundations of reliance and contemporary influence. Specifically, we are concerned with investigating the mechanisms by which humans establish, maintain, and repair trust in other agents, both human and machine. The science of influence or persuasion will expand our understanding for how we might shape the behaviors, attitudes and beliefs of others. The resulting portfolio directly enhances the Air Force's technology development programs, and will impact policies and operations related to national security. Trust and Influence invests in the discovery of the foundational concepts of effective influence, deterrence, trust-building, trust calibration, and counter-terrorism operations. Multi-disciplinary approaches are encouraged, to include cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, economics, computer science and mathematics. Research designs that incorporate laboratory studies, modeling or field research leading to transformative novel theories are also encouraged.
Basic Research Objectives The basic research interests under this program can be defined broadly by three areas: trust in autonomous systems, cross-cultural trust, and socio-digital influence. In the area of trust in autonomous systems there is particular interest in (1) empirical studies to examine drivers of trust between humans and intelligent, autonomous or robotic agents, (2) laboratory and field studies to examine the impact of socially-designed cues or physical features such as appearance, voice, personality, and other social elements on human trust and system performance, (3) development of trust metrics and other relevant constructs in human-machine teaming with a particular focus on real-time and dynamic assessment, and (4) modeling of human-machine teaming that supports adaptive and continuous improvement of joint performance in complex environments. In the area of cross-cultural trust, there is interest in (1) developing theories of interpersonal and organization trust that account for various cultural constructs and characteristics, (2) revealing the antecedents of trust in cross-cultural interactions, and (3) cultural differences in complex human-machine interaction. In the area of socio-digital influence there is a need for (1) laboratory and field studies to reveal sources of influence and persuasion in social media and across different cultural groups, (2) social, cognitive, and neural mechanisms of influence and persuasion (3) modeling and measuring the relationship between online and real-world behaviors, (4) empirical studies to discover new theories of influence as it pertains to the cyber domain, and (5) understanding the behavioral effects of influence tactics such as foreign policies or developmental activities. You are encouraged to contact our Program Officer prior to developing a full proposal to discuss alignment of your ideas with our program goals, your proposed methods, and the scope of your proposed effort.
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Program Reviews & Meetings
Program Overview AFOSR Spring Review 2014 Presentation Dr. Ben Knott
Contact Information Dr. Benjamin A. Knott AFOSR/RTA-2 Email: TI@us.af.mil